People Over 40 Should Only Work 3 Days a Week, Experts Say

Working three days a week is like a dream come true for every employee on planet Earth. According to a psychological research, employees would be more productive if they work three days a week.

A 2016 study conducted at the University of Melbourne (Australia) was based on the time people spent at work and the effect it has on their cognitive function. Experts were focused on people aged 40 and over.

They used three tests to check out participants’ cognitive ability and compared it to the time they spent at work.

  • Backward Digit Span (reading a line of single numbers, and repeating the numbers backwards)
  • Symbol Digits Modalities (replacing numbers with geometric figures)
  • 25-item version of the National Adult Reading Test

About 80% of participants were employees outside the home, working 35 hours per week or even more. According to cognition tests, employees showed greater abilities when working 25 hour.

About 55% of the 6500 participants in the study were women, and the results didn’t show any major results between both sexes.

Researchers explain that work is actually a sword with two edges. It may stimulate the activity of your brain. However, long working hours may cause fatigue and stress, which may result in poor cognitive function.

A five-day work week

Most countries in the world discuss the possibility to raise the age of retirement. This may be good for US citizens who are willing to work past 66.

However, this may not be that good for those who want to retire early. According to statistics, people in North America retire later than those in Russia, China, Australia and Japan.

Mexicans are on the top of the list of annual hours workers have. Only nine countries in the world have an average of annual working hours higher than our country. A typical working week has 40 hours, and this doesn’t leave much time for other activities, especially if employers force their employees to work overtime.

At the turn of the 20th century, manufacturers worked 100 hours. Today, people work five days and 40 hours.

In the past, the population was smaller, and the war economy triggered major changes. Unemployment became a concern after 1929, and requiring people to work less was a much better choice.

Work-life balance

Employees who work at a management level are asked to work more than 40 hours a week, and these hours aren’t paid. Telecommuting made the situation worse. Yes, it saves money and time, and people are required to work from home.

Full-time jobs are really exhausting. Overworking causes chronic stress, heart disease and even cancer. Workplace stress accelerates the aging process, and some people are pushed over the edge. We all know what that means.

Signs of being “overworked”

  • You drink alcohol or use drugs to relax
  • Long working hours don’t provide better results
  • You don’t sleep well, and you are tired all the time
  • Anxiety, stress, sadness and depression are your best friends
  • You work overtime all the time
  • Your eyes are sore and your body is in pain
  • Your relationships suffer

Adjust to 21st-century lifestyle

Employers try to be more flexible in order to attract skilled employees. Here are some suggestions:

  • Employees can start work at 10:00 a.m.
  • Short work weeks are also desirable
  • In France, employers can’t email workers outside working hours
  • An estate management firm in New Zealand tried a 4-day work week, and it showed that the productivity is at least the same as 5-day work week
  • A 6-hour work day can provide better results than 8-hour work day
  • Time off is a good option too, and overtime needs to be paid
  • Vacations need to be longer (US citizens have less days than other counties, and Canadians are third from last)

Love yourself

It’s really important that you pay attention to your daily routine and health. Full-time jobs may be detrimental to your overall health, and you need to practice self-care. Try to be more present and take care of yourself and the people around you.

Take advantage of the flexibility of your employer, and don’t say ‘no’ to the extra vacation days your boss gave you.



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