WORLD - Overwork Kills People, Says WHO

Arno Froese

Working long hours poses an occupational health risk that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year, the World Health Organization says.

“No job is worth the risk of stroke or heart disease,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, calling on governments, businesses and workers to find ways to protect workers’ health.

The global study, which the WHO calls the first of its kind, found that in 2016, 488 million people were exposed to the risks of working long hours.

In all, more than 745,000 people died that year from overwork that resulted in stroke and heart disease, according to the WHO.

“Between 2000 and 2016, the number of deaths from heart disease due to working long hours increased by 42%, and from stroke by 19%,” the WHO said as it announced the study, which it conducted with the International Labor Organization.

“Teleworking has become the norm in many industries, often blurring the boundaries between home and work,” Ghebreyesus said. “In addition, many businesses have been forced to scale back or shut down operations to save money, and people who are still on the payroll end up working longer hours.”, 17 May 2021

Arno's Commentary

The World Health Organization (WHO) is part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group and is composed of representatives from all its 194 member states. 

While work is good, overwork—according to this global study—is detrimental to health. Holiday (vacation) pay is somewhat universally accepted. European law requires that workers be entitled to at least four weeks of paid vacation. In contrast, USA Today writes, “The United States is the only developed country in the world without a single, legally required paid vacation day or holiday.” 

There are several reasons for the lack of free time in the US—mainly an unregulated labor force, which allows the employer to keep businesses open literally 24/7.

Why overwork? The generally acknowledged reason—to buy merchandise; in most cases, things one does not actually need. Productivity—making profits—is apparently king. Never before in history has mankind traveled so much, worked so effectively, and produced merchandise of such high quality.

What does it all mean? Simply, mankind becomes a slave to economic wellbeing; hence, the accumulation of riches is almost mind-boggling. Not surprisingly, when the global economy collapses, we read in Revelation 18:15: “The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing.”

Jesus warns: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). That advice should be heeded by all people on planet earth. At the very end, there will be no difference between the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the intelligent and the simple. Revelation 20:15: “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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