Experts Say: People Over 40 Should Only Work 3 Days a Week

In 2016, the Melbourne Institute Worker Paper published a study according to which people over 40 shouldn’t work more than three days a week.

The results showed that people of this age group are the most productive when they work three days a week.

The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research at the University of Melbourne did a research using the work habits of 3,500 women and 3,000 men.

They did matching letters and numbers under time pressure, reading aloud, reciting lists of numbers backwards and other cognitive tests.

Research took into consideration participants’ life quality, family structures, economic well-being and employment. Those who work 25 hours a week had the highest performance.

“These results indicate that, for both males and females, the magnitude of the positive impact of working hours on their cognitive ability is decreasing until working hours reaches a threshold, and above that, further increases in working hours have a negative impact on their cognitive functioning…Then, where is the threshold?

In other words, when does the impact of working hours on cognitive ability change from being positive to negative? Using the test scores of memory span and cerebral dysfunction for the respondents, it is found that working hours up to 25–30 hours per week have a positive impact on cognition for males depending on the measure and up to 22–27 hours for females…Our study highlights that too much work can have adverse effects on cognitive functioning.”

“Many countries are going to raise their retirement ages by delaying the age at which people are eligible to start receiving pension benefits,” Colin McKenzie, professor of economics at Keio University said.

“This means that more people continue to work in the later stages of their life.The degree of intellectual stimulation may depend on working hours. Work can be a double-edged sword.

It can stimulate brain activity, but at the same time, long working hours and certain types of tasks 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. This means that, in middle and older age, working part-time could be effective in maintaining cognitive ability.”

Geraint Johnes, an economy professor at Lancaster University Management School shared his take on the theory.

“What the authors find is that cognitive functioning improves up to the point at which workers work 25 hours a week and declines thereafter.

Actually, at first the decline is very marginal, and there is not much of an effect as working hours rise to 35 hours per week. Beyond 40 hours per week, the decline is much more rapid.”

If you don’t go step by step, you may end up deal with:

  •  Depression
  •  Fatigue, insomnia
  •  Alcoholism, narcotics
  •  Lack of production in long working days
  •  Pain and sore eyes
  •  Destroyed relationships

You have to find the right balance in your life. Learn how to balance your activities. Have enough time for your job, family, friends and love. It’s all about finding the perfect balance in your life, otherwise you’d be depressed and anxious.