The Associations Between Long Working Hours, Physical Inactivity, and Burnout

J Occup Environ Med. 2016 May;58(5):514-8. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000715.


Objective: To examine the correlations between long working hours, physical activity, and burnout.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to 1560 full-time employees, who underwent periodic health examinations in the year 2013. The subjects were divided into upper, middle, and lower tertiles according to the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI) score.

Results: The comparison of the high- and low-burnout groups revealed that long working hours were significantly correlated with burnout in a dose-dependent manner. Long working hours were more significantly associated with burnout among individuals younger than 50 years, females, and physically inactive employees.

Conclusions: Long working hours are correlated with burnout when working over 40 hours per week and is even stronger when working over 60 hours per week. Limiting working hours to 40 weekly may be beneficial for the prevention of burnout. Physical activity helps reduce the risk of burnout.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Taiwan
  • Work Schedule Tolerance*