SUMMARY: Over 13% workers in the European Union countries are required to work overtime. Only in the last ten years or so, unlike earlier years, has overtime been limited to ten hours a week. Many studies have demonstrated that workers doing overtime experience stress more frequently than workers of the same age and sex not required to do overtime hours. The following has been found: stress generated by overtime frequently causes insomnia; workers are more likely to experience heart infarction or stroke; workers suffer more often from higher blood pressure and diabetes type II, and are overweight or even obese. Also, they have higher levels of cholesterol and lipids in the blood. These workers experience, earlier than others, damage to the locomotor system, in particular to the cervical and/or lumbar regions of the spine. In addition, workers required to do overtime have unhealthy eating habits, and many smoke and consume alcohol. More frequently than other workers, they come to work even when suffering from health problems (presentism). All these factors contribute to earlier retirement which affects the quality of their lives and puts a financial strain on the state budget. The problem requires extra efforts on the part of the team responsible for health and safety at work. The workers should be educated on the harmful effects of overtime and should work together with the employer on the prevention of occupational diseases.