Working 25 hours/week = Peak Performance

by Helen Butler , 19 April 2016

3 day work week

A new study has found that working overtime can hamper your brain’s function more than not working at all.

The optimum number of hours to work in order to keep the synapses firing, is 25 hours.

Australians are working far too many hours, according to Colin McKenzie, Economics Professor at Keio University in Japan.

So if you’re working more than three days a week, you may want to start going home early on a regular basis.  Tell your boss it will be worth it thanks to the increased productivity you’ll be able to achieve.

As a nation, we are known for our strong work ethic and long hours, with official figures showing that about 8.2 million Australians work full-time and 3.8 million work part-time.

For every hour worked beyond the optimum 25, there was a steady decline in cognitive function.  Men and women showed the same results in the study.  There are so many cracking yarns to be had here at the impact this will have on our social make-up, stigmas men and women carry for the part-time v full-time productivity & office politics debate, but it doesn’t help the conversation that needs to happen around changing our workforce to suit our lifestyle choices better.

FlexConnect believes and endorses the pursuit of flexibility.  Our latest PodCastentitled “Family Ties – Green Eggs & Chipps” pursues the cultural observations, stigmas and gender roles that society has viewed and how current stereotypes are undergoing re-shaping.

Interestingly in relation to our ageing population, The Melbourne Institute study examined 6500 Australian workers aged 40 and over, testing them on their working memory, linguistic skills, concentration and information processing speed, and cross-referencing the results with data on their working hours.

The study authors noted that their results may impact on the “use it or lose it” theory, which posits that older people suffer a mental decline after retirement if they do not keep their brains active.  So, how do we keep this demographic engaged, contributing and healthy in our pursuit for lifestyle satisfaction.

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