How to Tell if You’re a Workaholic

Date: June 30, 2016

A new study uncovers the signs that might mean you work a little too much.

Addicted to work? 

You might be if you’re among a small portion of the population clinically hooked on the 9-to-5 grind, according to researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway. 

The researchers pioneered the Bergen Work Addiction Scale to study 16,426 working adults, according to CNN. The participants answered questions about seven basic criteria, giving their answer on a scale from one to five. Participants who scored a four or five on four or more of the criteria were classified as workaholics. The survey found that 7.8 percent of respondents could be diagnosed with this addiction. 

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Do you spend more time at work than intended? Work as a way to deal with guilt? Do your hobbies and physical well-being take a backseat to work? Answer “yes” to questions such as these, then you might be a workaholic. 

Researchers also unearthed a relationship between other conditions such as ADHD and OCD and people who exhibited workaholic tendencies. More than 32 percent of workaholics also met the criteria for ADHD, and about 25 percent of those classified as workaholics showed characteristics of OCD, CNN reported.

“Maybe because of the impulsive nature of these people, they may be taking on a lot of work without thinking ahead and maybe biting off more work than they can realistically chew,” lead researcher Cecilie Schou Andreassen noted to CNN.

The findings of the Norwegian study contrast numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reveal that an average American spends nearly as much time watching TV as they do working in an average day.

The average American also spends nearly nine hours sleeping each day, according to the bureau’s numbers. Although these numbers include activities such as reading, browsing the web, and other rituals many people engage in before bed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ numbers also include retirees, teenagers, and other people who sleep more than the average working adult.

Adding to their tendency to workaholism, Americans wasted 658 million vacation days last year, according to The Kansas City Star. In Expedia’s “2015 Vacation Deprivation Study,” Americans, on average, were offered 15 vacation days per year and took 11.

Whether you’re a workaholic or a couch potato, you might consider taking a break to celebrate National Workaholics Day on July 5 this year. Or if you’re among that 8 percent, perhaps you’ll just work through it.

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