Friday, July 14, 2006

Kiss of the Overworked Woman

A recent study suggests that working long hours takes a harder toll on women than on men.

As a woman who has worked a fair share of overtime, I can say with conviction that doing this does nothing for one's physical or mental well being. It does, however, get the work done so you can keep your head above water and not become overwhelmed by piles of projects and dayminders of missed deadlines.

The British study, performed by Daryl O'Connor, PhD, a senior lecturer in health psychology at England's University of Leeds, and colleagues, found that several negative health patterns stood out for women who worked long hours:

More high-fat and high-sugar snacks
More caffeine consumption
More smoking
Less exercise

For me, I can only say, check, check, n/a, and check.

I don't smoke, but I do consume caffeine and in greater amounts when I am at work as opposed to when I am at home. Likewise, when I am in my cubicle facing the computer, I am much more likely to stuff chocolate candy into my face than when I am not so confined.

Case in point: I like the smooth chocolate used to make Hershey's Kisses, so if I buy candy for home or the office, I prefer to select these confections. So, I buy a nice assortment of pastel Easter kisses and put them in a pretty candy dish at home. My nephews come and eat some. I sample them, but, with no children in the house, the dish serves more for decoration than consumption. I buy a bag of these sweets for my drawer at work, however, and they don't stand a chance. I am trying to design a cover - or write a pithy paragraph and I am unwrapping those kisses and shoving them in my mouth a "who laid the rail."

I can't explain it except when I am confined to my cubicle and by a deadline I don't have many outlets for nervous energy. At home, I could go outside and pull weeds or brush the dogs. In cubicle, I just eat candy.

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