If you were required to figure 3 days every week for full payment at your home or business, would you complain? Probably not. within the corporate culture in North America, such a thought is preposterous. What employers might not realize and what psychological research is confirming is that folks are more productive if they work but 5 days every week.
A 2016 study at the University of Melbourne (Australia) focused on what proportion time is often spent at a paying job and its effects on the cognitive function of individuals age 40 and over. Researchers administered 3 tests to demonstrate cognitive ability and compared it to the number of hours worked:
Backward Digit Span (reading a string of single numbers sequentially, then repeating equivalent numbers backward)
Symbol Digits Modalities (substituting numbers for geometric figures)
25-item version (short form) of the National Adult Reading Test (an inventory that estimates intellectual ability)
Almost 80% of the people that participated in the study were employed outside the house for 35 hours per week or more. Cognition testing found that subjects’ abilities increased to a threshold of 25 working hours a week; then, test results fell in proportion to the number of working hours over that number. Fifty-four percent of the approximately 6500 participants within the study were female, however, results reflected no difference between the sexes.
The object of the study was to work out the validity of the premise “use it or lose it”, pertaining to the thought that if we aren’t intellectually and socially engaged at employment, our cognitive functions decline as we age. Researchers concluded:
“Work is often a double-edged sword, therein it can stimulate brain activity, but at an equivalent time, long working hours and certain sorts of tasks can cause fatigue and stress which potentially damage cognitive functions. Thus, the degree of intellectual stimulation of labor may depend upon the specified task and dealing hours, that is, the standard and therefore the quantity of labor .”
The answer then is “use it an excessive amount of and lose it”!
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