Research Says A 3-Day Work Week May Be Best For Those Over 40 Years Old

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Working hours is the period of time that individuals spend at paid labor. Normal working hours are regulated by the legislation in order to limit the working hours per day, per week, per month or per year. Generally speaking, working hours in the countries worldwide are around 40 to 44 hours per week.

Many countries in the developed world have been experiencing a decrease of working hours significantly (e.g. USA – 33 hours, France – 30 hours, Netherlands – 27 hours, Germany – 25.6 hours).

This issue is especially important for the people over 40, why were conducted numerous studies to give the real support for making that properly.

According to the Melbourne Institute’s Working Paper Series, a three-day work weekly may be the best way to keep employees over 40 productive.

What they exactly found?

The study led by the researchers from Australia and Japan have included 3,000 men and 3,500 women over 40 years old in Australia. The aim of the research was to look at how working hours affected cognitive abilities to employees. They had to do various cognitive tests, such as reading words aloud and reciting sequences of numbers.

Their findings show that for working hours up to around 25 hours a week are best for cognitive functioning, while when working hours exceed 25 hours per week, this increase in working hours has a negative impact on cognition.

This sounds good to employees, and it shows that the findings were the same for men and women.

However, in many cases working up to 25 hours is not possible, so there are two possibilities to work 40 hours or not working at all. According to the study’s findings, the cognition performs are better when working 40 hours (even more) a week than if not working at all, so that should be kept in mind before making a decision of quitting your job!

The researcher Colin McKenzie at Keio University stated that the degree of intellectual stimulation may depend on working hours. For that reason, he claimed that work can be a double-edged sword, as it can stimulate brain activity, but at the same time long working hours can cause stress and fatigue, damaging cognitive functions.

As it sounds like the 25-hour work week is a winning solution, in fact, another research points to the benefits of a three-day weekend as the norm.

4-Day Work Weeks May Make Us Healthier

The experience showed that most of the people feel energetic and refreshed after a three-day weekend, so that raises a new proposal, to accept a regular four-day work week, which will be healthier than a typical five-day work week.

This issue is also treated by the Japanese businesses, which are also attempting to address the workaholic culture that pervades their nation because of the overtime working hours (more than 100 hours in a month). This is a real problem in Japan as it affects some employee to commit suicide.

According to the professor John Ashton, the workers in the UK rarely take a lunch hour, instead of working through lunch, which has become a trend in the norms in the U.S. recently.

Numerous companies that have made the switch to a shorter work week report noticeable improvements in the productivity of their employees.


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