Weekend health risk - injuries, overweight and high blood pressure

Weekend health risk - injuries, overweight and high blood pressure

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Weekends pose some risks to our health

We all know that: "Oh, I compensate for the lack of sleep during the week simply by sleeping more at the weekend!" "At the weekend I finally have time for training!" "At the weekend I really want to sleep in and then have a late and extensive breakfast ! ”Sounds good, doesn't it? But would you have thought that the behaviors behind these phrases could be harmful to your health?

Studies expose the weekend as a health risk

Scientists point out that the weekend poses various risks to our health. A different sleep-wake rhythm than during the week, resulting in delayed meal times and excessive training that only takes place on weekends, can harm our bodies.

Problems caused by changes in the sleep-wake rhythm

Many people try to compensate for a week's sleep deficit on weekends by sleeping more. Unfortunately, this calculation does not work.

According to a study from 2019, women who regularly catch up on two or more hours of sleep on weekends are more likely to have health problems with the cardiovascular system. This is particularly true for older women. Above all, the probability of high blood pressure (hypertension) was significantly increased in this group of people.

Delayed meal times can make us fat

Many people eat at weekends at different times than during the working week. According to a current study by the University of Barcelona, ​​this puts the body in a kind of "food jet lag", the biorhythm gets mixed up.

“Let's say you normally have breakfast at seven in the morning, but you have breakfast at nine in the weekend. Your biological clock doesn't know it's weekend, so it will prepare your body to eat at seven in the morning and then become confused if you don't eat until nine in the morning, ”lead author Maria Izquierdo-Pulido said in one Interview with New Scientist.

The study found that the body mass index (BMI) of those people who shifted their meal times over the weekend and got into a "meal jet lag" was 1.3 percent higher on average than the BMI those who kept the same rhythm on weekends as during the week.

Interestingly, these results were independent of what people ate, how much exercise, and how much they slept. Only the changed rhythm of meal times differed in both test groups.

Training only on weekends increases the risk of injury

Are you one of those people who only train on weekends? Then be careful! Because, according to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery in 2014, this training group is more frequently affected by accidents and injuries than people whose training sessions are evenly distributed over the week.

This could be because they are less experienced in practicing their sport. Or the fact that they try to achieve as much as possible within a short period of time. The exact causes have not yet been finally clarified.

However, one should not conclude from this now that you should rather do without sports altogether! Because it is certain that exercise is healthy. Exercising exclusively on weekends is therefore better for the body than not moving at all. However, special precautions should be taken (see below).

How to make your weekend healthier

Even if it is tempting to sleep well at the weekend, to catch up on missed sleep and to compensate for the lack of exercise from the working week: You could do more harm than good. Fortunately, it is up to you to make your weekend healthier with small changes in terms of sleep, nutrition and exercise.

Sleep: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends sleeping at least seven hours every night. You should also go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time in the morning. You should keep this rhythm at the weekend.

Meals: This also makes it easier to take your meals at the same times as during the week. If this is not possible, at least try not to deviate from the regular times by more than an hour. Or have a small snack at the scheduled time.

Move: You should try to exercise more during the week and spread your workouts evenly over the week. If you only find time at the weekend, make sure you warm up sufficiently, start exercising relaxed and listen to signals from your body when it is time for a break or when you should stop. (kh)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Magistra Artium (M.A.) Katja Helbig


  • Cabeza De Baca, Tomás, Chayama, Koharu, Redline, Susan et al .: Sleep debt: the impact of weekday sleep deprivation on cardiovascular health in older women; in: Sleep, Volume 42, Issue 10, 2019, Oxford Academic
  • Zerón-Rugerio, María, Hernáez, Álvaro, Porras-Loaiza, Armida et al .: Eating Jet Lag: A Marker of the Variability in Meal Timing and Its Association with Body Mass Index; in: Nutrients, Volume 11, 2019, MDPI
  • New Scientist: Swapping breakfast for brunch on weekends may lead to weight gain. (Accessed on January 27, 2020), New Scientist
  • Roberts, Derek, Ouellet, Jean-Francois, McBeth, Paul et al .: The "weekend warrior": Fact or fiction for major trauma ?; in: Canadian Journal of Surgery, Vol. 57, 2014, PMC
  • Sleep Education: Healthy Sleep Habits. Resource provided by American Alliance for Healthy Sleep. (Accessed on January 27, 2020), Sleep Education

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