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We Americans Work Too Damn Hard!

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When's the last time you took a day off? No pretense, no pressing engagement. When's the last time you took a day off just for sheer mental health?

Better yet: How long has it been since you were able to take a lunch break without having the rest of the day weighing on your conscience to the point where your food tasted like stress?

Contrary to popular belief -- or at least, what we think the rest of the world thinks -- Americans aren't lazy. As inflation and cost of living skyrocket while our wages remain stagnant, we are forced to work extra hard to maintain a somewhat bearable standard of living. But God forbid you'd like to live in the major city where you're employed. At that point, you're living paycheck to paycheck if you're lucky.

As such, our workday becomes the better part of our waking life. An average of 76% of adults work more than 40 hours a week, and ten million work more than 60 hours a week. From 1970 to 2006, the average number of hours in our working year increased by 200 -- that's over eight days! -- and yet, we still remain the only country in North and South America to not have a legally mandated annual vacation.

In turn, we suffer from stress-related diseases -- headaches, back aches, heart problems, sexual health problems, weaker immune systems -- in greater numbers. The majority of us don't eat properly at lunch, and the work that we do bring home is now more likely to end in divorce.

So while our bootstrap grandparents tell long-winded stories of coal mines and factories and remark how the American work ethic has disappeared, it hasn't. We can thank labor laws for curtailing black lung and repetitive stress injury, but we still devote the same amount of effort into our professions. We just haven't seen much change in the compensation and benefits.

Business Insurance Source mocked up an enlightening infographic which details our national workaholism.

Show it to the next person who says Americans are soft.

Image by: Business Insurance Source

(See also: Apple's Lost iPhone Sparks Internal Investigation and Coming to the iPhone!)

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