Stressed and tired? New research says that a 3-day work week is better for people over 40
This study has shown that people over a certain age should be working fewer hours to minimize stress and fatigue.
A recent study conducted in Melbourne, Australia, showed that people over the age of 40 seem to be getting more stressed every year, and their working hours may well have something to do with it.
As reported by Healthy Holistic Living, the study showed that working more than 40-60 hours a week could actually be worse for the mental state than not working at all.
People over 40 were questioned via a survey and a number of tests to determine their cognitive function. These tests required them to read aloud, recite numbers backward and match numbers and letters with a time restriction.
The results showed that those who were only working 22-30 hours per week received far better scores than those working longer hours, by an average of 18%.
This leads researchers to believe that the added working hours results in stress and fatigue, which results in diminished cognitive skills. It is the first time that this hypothesis has shown definitive results.
“Work can be a double-edged sword: it can stimulate brain activity, but long working hours and certain types of tasks can cause fatigue and stress which potentially damage cognitive functions,” found the study.
While work is obviously important, it is equally vital that there be a good balance in life.
There are also a number of ways in which people can help to improve their cognitive function if they do lead a high-stress lifestyle when it comes to work.
Getting enough regular exercise helps the body to combat stress as it releases endorphins. It will also improve sleep.
2. Essential oils
These can also help relax the body and the mind. Light a scented candle or use essential oils to help treat the mood.
3. Chewing gum
The action of constantly chewing can help to lower stress as well as improve self-esteem. It is also an instant effect.
4. Learn to say no
Everyone has a limit, and it's best if these are learnt early. Take control when life becomes overwhelming, and say no when things become too much.
5. Practice mindfulness
This requires keeping oneself grounded in the present moment, rather than focusing on past worries or the next task at hand. Ways to do this include yoga, meditation, and cognitive therapy.
6. Get help
When everything that needs to get done becomes too much, get an outsider's perspective on your workload. Someone else's view can help to make working more efficient.
7. Talk to the boss
If the workload is too much, the boss may be able to help provide a solution to dealing with it. Speaking to them will give them a heads-up, and may cause them to offer an extension or another colleague's help.
8. Organize the priorities
Stay on top of the most important things on the to-do list. Procrastination leads to a stressful situation that involves scrambling to get work done on time.
9. Have down time with loved ones
Spending time with family and friends can be a great way to detox from a stressful working environment.
At the end of the day, mental health is the most important thing, and should never be sacrificed for the sake of a job. When work stress becomes too much, remember to take a step back and focus on what the greatest need is.