Massage therapy has been shown to reduce depression, improve immune function, boost mood and increase relaxation, and is sometimes part of employee-wellness programs.

In new, unrelated research, working too much has been correlated with a two-fold increase in the likelihood of depression.

The odds of a major depressive episode are more than double for those working 11 or more hours a day compared to those working seven to eight hours a day, according to the report published in the Jan. 25 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.

The investigators, from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and University College London, followed about 2,000 middle-aged British civil servants and found a strong association between overtime work and depression. This correlation was not affected when the analysis was adjusted for various possible confounders, including sociodemographics, lifestyle and work-related factors, according to a press release.

“Although occasionally working overtime may have benefits for the individual and society, it is important to recognize that working excessive hours is also associated with an increased risk of major depression,” the authors noted.

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