According to a recent study, the current working week is detrimental for our mental health, especially for people over 40. Instead of the 5-day, 40-hour working week, scientists are now recommending a 3-day working week which should be better for our mental and physical health without sacrificing productivity.
The study showed that cognitive performance of people over 40 was increased as the working week was reduced to 25 hours. The performance went down when they worked for more than that – the longer they stayed at their office, the worse their cognitive performance was. The Australian study is only confirming what numerous experts have been warning about for years – that the current working week is destroying us and the employer as well (due to ineffective workers). The tests in the study measured the “knowing” and “thinking” part of the worker’s ability, including their abstract and executive reasoning as well as their memory. Those who worked 25 hours a week performed best on the tests, while those who worked over 50 hours had even worse results than unemployed people.
Professor Colin McKenzie, one of the 3 lead authors in the study, says that numerous countries are trying to raise the retirement ages, which forces people to work later in life. Work, as he says, is a double-edged sword – it can stimulate the brain, but it can also stress it. The reduction of the working hours is important for a variety of important reasons, and will also make us more productive at work.
However, the scientists in the study are still unaware of the exact reasons why a reduced working hours week works better. McKenzie thinks it’s because of the fatigue and stress caused by the 40-hour week. Of course, working 40 hours is better for your brain than not working at all, but still, it can harm the brain. Reduce it to a 25-hour working week, and we should all feel the benefits.
Of course, the results may vary from country to country. Factors such as days of annual leave do play a part as well, so it’s difficult to control all factors. However, scientists are sure we will all feel the benefits, including the employers. Working up to the age of 70 is definitely unappealing, and the current working week is destroying our mental health. We know companies may not agree with us, but we strongly urge them to try. Conduct an experiment in your company by reducing the number of hours people work, and we’re sure you’ll see great results.
Article and image source: http://seizepositivity.com