Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death’ (Exodus 35:2).
A29-year-old young male worker in the department of packaging in a big Japanese newspaper company suddenly died at the workplace of a heart attack. The incident which occurred in 1969 was attributed to tiredness—physical and psychological exhaustion due to overloaded work during the last months of his life. This is the first case of karoshi, which in Japanese means overwork death,» and describes the death caused by fatal strokes and heart attacks that can happen to people who performed more than eighty hours of additional work per month.
We all heard the saying that «work is health,» but is it true that the more we work, the healthier we get? In a society where production and efficiency are highly valued, the people who work a lot are usually admired. However, the burnout produced by chronic occupational stress is closely linked to health problems. The tension, pressure or anxiety that many times characterize work can lead to physical problems like gastritis, muscular tension, spasms, headaches, lack of energy, insomnia, among others; and in extreme conditions, they can finish in karoshi. In brief, overwork can destroy your health and life.
To protect your health against this pernicious excess work, we need to first apply the rule of temperance. If work is done in a responsible manner during the day, the night hours should be used for rest and spending time with loved ones. We daily need between six and eight hours of sleep in a dark place and enjoy the early resting hours of the night. This way we can stimulate melatonin secretion, a hormone naturally secreted by our body that helps with restful sleep, prevents headaches, depression, chronic fatigue; it also slows down multiple diseases associated with ageing.
On the other hand, in today’s Bible verse, God expresses a commandment regarding work and weekly rest. «Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord.» Can you imagine a day of disconnecting from work tension, raising your prayers to God and listening to His voice without worries? A day to enjoy with your loved ones and being assured that all your affairs are in the hands of your Creator? Seek to organize your time in order to follow God’s instructions accordingly. Most certainly, you will receive great benefits in your physical, mental, social and spiritual matters.