Relationship between long working hours and depression: a 3-year longitudinal study of clerical workers

J Occup Environ Med. 2013 Aug;55(8):863-72. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31829b27fa.


Objective: To clarify how long working hours affect the likelihood of current and future depression.

Methods: Using data from four repeated measurements collected from 218 clerical workers, four models associating work-related factors to the depressive mood scale were established. The final model was constructed after comparing and testing the goodness-of-fit index using structural equation modeling. Multiple logistic regression analysis was also performed.

Results: The final model showed the best fit (normed fit index = 0.908; goodness-of-fit index = 0.936; root-mean-square error of approximation = 0.018). Its standardized total effect indicated that long working hours affected depression at the time of evaluation and 1 to 3 years later. The odds ratio for depression risk was 14.7 in employees who were not long-hours overworked according to the initial survey but who were long-hours overworked according to the second survey.

Conclusions: Long working hours increase current and future risks of depression.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Work Schedule Tolerance / psychology*