40-Hour Work Week Is Linked To Cognitive Decline, Study Says
NOTE: The following post comes from lifehack.org. See the interesting comment near the bottom, "As a freelance writer who works full-time, this study was interesting in that it focused on the actual consequences that working has on the brain."
- By Evelyn Hill, www.lifehack.org
Earlier this summer, a study focusing on the link between 40-hour work weeks and cognitive decline was published, and it’s got a lot of people thinking.
The study, which was first reported by Science Alert and then picked up by various outlets, showed that people over the age of 40 actually suffer from 40-hour work weeks. Cognitive decline was significant in those that worked what we now consider to be the common work week of eight hours a day, five days a week. In fact, working anything more than a 25-hour work week was deemed to be detrimental to the workforce.
But before you ask for a new work schedule, let’s go over the study and find out what it all means.
The BBC reports that the study was conducted by researchers at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research in Australia. The study had over 6,500 participants, with over 60% of them being women. All participants were aged 40 and over, held jobs, and had different work schedules. This included people who worked part time and people who worked full time.
How the results were measured came in the form of three separate tests, all of which tested a cognitive ability. The three main tests focused on memory, reading, and perceptive ability.
What remains unclear, however, is exactly how this study was carried out. While it is assumed that the participants were given the tests at specific intervals and during different weeks, the actual method remains a mystery.
The results, however, were crystal clear — researchers found that participants in the study that worked part time, or around 25 hours a week, showed no signs of cognitive decline when compared to those who worked full time. It is also interesting to note that participants who worked less than 25 hours a week also showed low cognitive