Work can give us a sense of purpose and direction. But can it also harm our health?

Contemporary_OfficeWelcome to the future of work: a world where everything moves faster, the hours are longer and steady jobs are harder to find. Work has always been central to our lives — in the United States, the 40-hour workweek stretches back at least a century — but now, technology and the pressure of competing in a global economy is threatening to turn back the clock, making our toil an all-consuming affair once again.

Studies show that we’re more productive than ever. American output has tripled since 1947, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But even as our careers give us a sense of purpose and belonging, research shows they’re also driving us toward some pretty self-destructive behavior, raising the question: Are our jobs killing us? By committing to a lifetime of labor, much of it sedentary, are we inadvertently exposing ourselves to a kind of stress our bodies weren’t designed for?

Research suggests that in general, the more we work, the worse our bodies fare. But how far does that wisdom go?

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Source: Brian Fung | The Atlantic