The Melbourne Institute Worker Paper has done a study in which it was proven that people who are over 40 years of age, can be productive the most if they work only 3 days in the week.
This is also telling us that people are losing the productivity and efficiency as they grow older. The study’s aim was to see the cognitive abilities of individuals who were over the age of 40.
3,500 women and 3,000 men, both volunteers were involved in this study, in which the researchers have analyzed their abstract and executive reasoning, as well as their memory.
The Labour Dynamics, Income and Household in Australia survey were used for gathering the needed information for the study, and it was conducted by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research at the Melbourne University.
The experts were analyzing the participant’s subjective well-being and economics, employment and family structures. The participants were asked to match numbers and letters, read words aloud, and recite number lists backward, all that under time pressure. And at the end of the study it was proven that those participants who were working 25 hours a week, had the highest scores on the tests.
According to the report:
“Work is very tricky, it is kind of a double-edged knife, sometimes it can stimulate our activity of the brain, but sometimes working too much, and doing some specific tasks might cause stress and fatigue, which is damaging our cognitive functions.”
The research also proved that the effects were much better, and participants were more effective and productive when they worked 25 hours a week, instead of working 7 days a week.
When they worked 5 days a week, they had much worse results because they were constantly under fatigue and stress. One of the leading authors of this research, Colin McKenzie also reported that the working hours are highly affecting the intellectual stimulation. The brain activity is stimulated by work, but also it is the biggest cause for stress and fatigue.
It was concluded at the end of the study that the cognitive functions of every individual are mostly affected by the working hours, and working more than 30 hours in a week will affect the brain’s health in a negative way, especially in these middle-aged participants.
Professor McKenzie reported that it is very hard to specify each effect of the jobs, and how they are affecting the cognitive functions in an individual, which is the main reason why people should choose their jobs, depending on their cognitive abilities.
Also a professor of economics at Lancaster University Management School, Geraint Johnes reported:
“This study is only for people older than 40, which is why they cannot claim that people over 40 years old are different from other workers. The researchers only discovered that the cognitive functioning is improving when they work 25 hours a week, and working more makes them less productive and effective. But there isn’t also a huge difference in working up to 30 hours, but the biggest difference is seen in working more than 40 hours a week.”
But besides all that, experts still cannot clearly explain the findings, but they are sure that people who are older than 40, and are working more than 30 hours a week are affecting their brain negatively, and we know that every job is leading to a lot of stress and tiredness.
And these studies are only an attempt to make a difference or a change in our system, because it is totally natural for older people to lose their ability of doing their job as the years go by.
So, if you want to prevent from the stress and fatigue, you can only find yourself a job that you like, therefore decreasing the negative effects on your overall health.