Melbourne Institute Worker Paper has done a study in which they find that persons who have more than 40 are the most productive when they are working 3 days per week.
That can also mean that the productivity and the efficiency of people is reducing over the years. The researchers wanted to analyze the cognitive abilities of the workers who had more than 40 years.
This study included around 3000 men and 3500 women volunteers of which were analyzed their executive and abstract reasoning as well as their memory.
The data that was used in this study was taken from a survey of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia. It was done by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research at the University of Melbourne.
The scientists made an analysis of the structures of the family, employment, and economic and subjective well-being of the persons participating. They needed to read some words aloud, to tell numbers backwards, and to match numbers and letters under pressure of time. The results proved that those persons who worked around 25 hours a week had the best scores on these tests.
“Work could be a double-edged sword, in that it may stimulate the brain activity, but then again, long working hours and some types of tasks could cause stress and fatigue that potentially damage the cognitive functions.”
When they were working around 5 days a week, the participants were found to perform a lot worse, as opposed when they were working 25 hours a week.
These poor results apparently were as a result of fatigue and stress, and as Professor Colin McKenzie, one of the leading authors of this study, said, the level of the intellectual stimulation is affected mostly by the working hours. Work is stimulating the brain activity and it’s also the main reason for stress and fatigue.
The study concluded that the working hours are greatly influencing the person’s cognitive functions, and working more than 30 hours per week has negative effect on the brain of elderly people.
Professor McKenzie said that it is very hard to specify the effects of every job and how it affects the person’s cognitive function. That’s why we always need to choose our job according to our cognitive abilities.
Moreover, Geraint Johnes, who is a professor of economics at the Lancaster University Management School, says that:
“The research looks just at over-40s, and on that way it cannot make the claim that persons aged more than 40 are different from any other working persons. The authors find that cognitive functioning is improving up to the point at which the workers are working 25 hours a week and thereafter declines. Actually, in the beginning the decline is very marginal, and there is not a very big effect as the working hours rise to 35 hours per one week. Beyond 40 hours per one week, the decline is a lot faster.”
Therefore, the scientists cannot clearly explain those findings and the reality that working over 30 hours per week is affecting negatively on our brain, although we know that plenty of work leads to stress and tiredness.
However all these attempts are raising the awareness for the essential changes in the system, as it is completely natural that the elder persons are no longer able to do the same work they did 40 years ago.
In order to help yourself, it’s better to choose a hob that you enjoy working it. On that way you will reduce the stress levels and the negative effects it has on your health.