NEW research reveals that eight out of ten workers in the North of England are stressed out from work.

Just under half work longer than the standard 35-hour week and more than a third regularly work unpaid overtime, according to the study commissioned by Opodo, the online travel portal.

The report by organisational psychologist Professor Cary Cooper showed that 58 per cent of Northern workers never take a proper lunch break and all those questioned would welcome a weekend break as a way to relieve work stress.

Meanwhile, one in ten failed to take a holiday last year, and more than one in five did not take their full holiday allowance.

"More worryingly, our weekends are not giving us a good enough break," said Prof Cooper.

"More than half of people working in the North (53 per cent) think about work on and off all weekend and three quarters of those working over 60 hours a week spend the entire weekend thinking about work.

"Employers have seriously got their heads in the sand if they don't take immediate action.

"People simply are not going to be productive if they do not get a long enough break and are so stressed that when they do, they still can't switch off."