Well-being not a priority for workaholics, researcher says

Aug 22, 2013

Working overtime may cost you your health, according to a Kansas State University doctoral researcher.

Sarah Asebedo, doctoral student in and , Edina, Minn., conducted a study using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. She and her colleagues—Sonya Britt, assistant professor of family studies and human services and director of the university's personal program, and Jamie Blue, in personal financial planning, Tallahassee, Fla.—found a preliminary link between workaholics and reduced physical and mental well-being. The study, "Workaholism and Well-Being," will appear in Financial Services Review, a journal of individual .

"We looked at the association between workaholism and physical and mental well-being," Asebedo said. "We found workaholics—defined by those working more than 50 hours per week—were more likely to have reduced physical well-being, measured by skipped meals. Also, we found that workaholism was associated with reduced mental well-being as measured by a self-reported depression score."

The link between workaholism and well-being has been assumed for years; however, there was a lack of research supporting the link until this study, Asebedo said. To understand why people work overtime even when they know it is not good for their well-being, the researchers used Gary S. Becker's Theory of the Allocation of Time, a for choice measuring the cost of time.

"It looks at the cost of time as if it were a market good," Asebedo said. "This theory suggests that the more money you make, the more likely you are to work more. If you are not engaged in work-related activities, then there is a cost to the alternative way in which time is spent. Even if you understand the to workaholism, you may still be likely to continue working because the cost of not doing so becomes greater."

According to Asebedo, Becker's theory suggests that not only can working more make a person wealthier but it also creates less leisure time to spend money. As income increases a person may be more likely to work more and create an unhealthy habit.

As a full-time wealth manager for Accredited Investors in Edina,Asebedo has found the research useful in counseling clients. She advises workaholics to be aware of the effect excessive work has on their physical and mental well-being and to be prepared for what they can do to mitigate or counteract the effects during busy work periods.

"From a financial planning and counseling perspective, it's good to be aware of workaholism," Asebedo said. "It helps me understand what can be the cause of my clients' stress. It's just a reminder that you may want to dig a bit deeper into clients' lives. Sometimes you might find that they don't like what they are doing and they want to make a change, yet financially, they don't know how they can accomplish that."

Asebedo received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Kansas State University. She returned to the university to get her doctorate in personal financial planning through the Division of Continuing Education distance program because she was interested researching the role conflict resolution plays in financial planning.

Data for the study was taken from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort, a nationally representative sample of 12,686 young men and women who were interviewed on an annual basis from 1979 through 1994 and are currently interviewed on a biennial basis.

Explore further: Study reveals early financial arguments are a predictor of divorce

More information: www.drsm.org/FSR_journal/Financial_Services_Review_home.htm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New study offers insight into how to best manage workaholics

May 22, 2013

(Phys.org) —Workaholics tend to live in extremes, with great job satisfaction and creativity on the one hand and high levels of frustration and exhaustion on the other hand. Now, a new Florida State University study offers ...

Doctors do not spend enough time planning their finances

Jun 11, 2013

(HealthDay)—Physicians do not spend enough time reviewing their finances, and half are behind in their retirement planning, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA) Insurance ...

Shorter working hours do not guarantee happier workers

Aug 21, 2013

A reduction in working hours does not necessarily mean happier employees, as it might merely be adding stress to their general working environment. This is according to a study by Robert Rudolf of Korea University, Seoul, ...

Recommended for you

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

2 hours ago

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans

Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they have more skepticism than confidence in global warming, the age of the Earth and evolution and have the most trouble believing a Big Bang created the universe 13.8 ...

Finnish inventor rethinks design of the axe

(Phys.org) —Finnish inventor Heikki Kärnä is the man behind the Vipukirves Leveraxe, which is a precision tool for splitting firewood. He designed the tool to make the job easier and more efficient, with ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.