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Good News: Study Says Adults Over 40 Should Work Just 3 Days A Week

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Need a break from the weary world of work? We can't give you one, but we have interesting news for you to pass along to your boss.

A report published in the Melbourne Institute Worker Paper found that people over 40 should work just three days a week.

The encouraging study (unless your boss won't give you the time off) found that adults are most productive and efficient when their working week is condensed.

The study followed 3,000 male and 3,500 female workers who volunteered for the research. They completed a number tests (including memory exams) and tracked their weekly work habits.

Worker
Workers were better at memory and skill tests when they worked just a few days each week.Tomas Castelazo - Wikimedia

Researchers found that a person's ability to complete a demanding task - like reading text backwards, or matching numbers and letters in a time limit - improved if their working week was 25 hours long.

Once they started adding more work, however, the volunteers began to perform worse and worse at their tests.

Of course, the poor 55-hour workweek group suffered the most, and their failing test scores reflected that. They even performed below both retired and unemployed groups of volunteers.

A co-author of the study, Keio University professor Colin McKenzie, warned what these results could mean for elderly workers.

Elderly employees
The study is bad news for elderly workers who are in the office full-time.rawpixel

"Many countries are going to raise their retirement ages by delaying the age at which people are eligible to start receiving pension benefits," he wrote in the report.

"This means that more people continue to work in the later stages of their life."

In America, for example, retirees must be at least 66 years old before they start receiving full old age benefits.

While the study also suggests working part-time could bolster your brainpower, it raises a red flag for adults working overtime to support their families.

Workers
Workers are sharpest when they only spend about three days in the office.Rawpixel

"Work can be a double-edged sword," said McKenzie, "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."

Until businesses catch on to the benefits this study revealed, we'll all have to keep working for the weekend.

[H/T: Travel & Leisure, BBC]

Do you wish you could work just three days a week?

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