Working More Than 3 Days A Week If You Are Over 40 Is Not Recommendable A Study Claims
“I don’t like work–no man does–but I like what is in work–the chance to find yourself. Your reality–for yourself not for others–what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it means.” ― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
These words of Joseph Conrad bring a big dose of motivation and inspiration for all of us who struggle to survive the working week.
However, are we capable of always putting a heart and soul into work, even if we want to?
Sadly, it turns out this is not quite the case. Here is why:
Whether admit it or not, as we age we lose a lot of our energy and impulse for work. Time might make us calmer and more mature, but our concentration as well as determination to put efforts and achieve different goals seems to decrease as the years pass by. That is, of course, absolutely normal, because neither the body or the mind is as fresh and as energetic as they were when we were younger.
Recent research published in the Melbourne Institute Worker Paper series also confirms this – stating that people over 40 shouldn’t work a full 5- day working week.
According to the research employees who are 40 or older manifest the highest performance rates if they work three days a week, and this is the recommended time they should be working.
The scientists from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research who conducted the study have examined the work habits and the results of the brain tests of about 3,000 men and 3,500 women in Australia All of the participants are 40 or older.
The study researched people’s financial and moral well-being, type of family structures, and the job the participants are working.
After a detailed analysis, the researchers found out that 30-hour weekly
work is beneficial to the cognitive function at a later stage, but workers who exceed the 30 working hours a week seemed to show a decline in their performance.
It turned out that people, who exceed 55 working hours a week manifested a more significant cognitive decrease than the ones who are not working.
The Independent published the opinion of one the three authors of the research, Professor Colin McKenzie from Keio University priorly shared with the Times :
“Many countries are going to raise their retirement ages by delaying the age at which people are eligible to start receiving pension benefits. This means that more people continue to work in the later stages of their life”
He said and also added that work could be seen as a double-edged sword:
“The degree of intellectual stimulation may depend on working hours. Work can be a double-edged sword, in that it can stimulate brain activity, but at the same time, long working hours can cause fatigue and stress, which potentially damage cognitive functions. We point out that differences in working hours are important for maintaining cognitive functioning in middle-aged and elderly adults. That means that, in middle and older age, working part-time could be effective in maintaining cognitive ability.”
So what he is saying is that there is a difference between maintaining the brain intellectually engaged and the fact one has been overworking, something could lead to serious negative consequences. And according to the research overworking for people aged over 40 means working more than three days a week.
Here is why the government needs to reconsider the pension age. For instance, the state pension period for people born in 1989 starts when they become 68.