There is a famous quote that says “We work to live, not live to work” and its meaning is so important and profound. Particularly in our modern society where people are always overworked and tired.
The main issue that arises though is that the people, who get stuck in their daily routine of exhausting working hours and constant state of stress, have more chances of developing serious diseases and dying much earlier than they were supposed to.
The Japanese actually have a word for “overworking” which is called Karōshi (過労死). Although, it might be a bit ironic as Japanese people are known for keeping long and crazy hours at work. However, they are aware at the same time that the more they work it’s more likely they develop heart problems.
According to Fatma Al-Maskari, an associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at United Arab Emirates University, people nowadays are developing what we call “lifestyle diseases”/ or chronic diseases such as “heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and some types of cancer”.
It’s all due to our lifestyle, including the long hours at work.
A new study published by the Melbourne Insitute states that people shouldn’t work five days per week, especially if they are over forty thus more vulnerable to develop certain health issues.
In the study, 3000 Australian men and 3,500 Australian women went through a series of tests to evaluate “their memory capacity and executive and abstract reasoning while comparing their general work habits and schedules”.
The results weren’t surprising at all.
The people who worked around 25 hours per week, which is basically part-time, were more productive and in a better mental state than the people who worked more than 25 hours. Moreover, those who worked around 55 hours per week had the worst productivity levels.
Unfortunately, life is expensive and a full-time job is essential in order to survive and maintain a good lifestyle.
Professor Colin McKenzie from Keio University, one of the three authors of the research, explained that working is good as it stimulates brain activity, however, overworking is the problem. The best-case scenario is to work around 40 hours per week rather than not working at all, as it helps to keep a healthy cognitive state.
There are some countries in the West that have been trying to promote and launch a shorter working timetable. For example, for some years now in Sweden, they have been trying to introduce in different fields, a six-hour working day. While in Spain they intend to launch a trial of a four-day working week.
“Spain will be the first country to undertake a trial of this magnitude,” said Héctor Tejero of Más País. “The only red lines are that we want to see a true reduction of working hours and no loss of salary or jobs.”
It’s really important to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and the only way to do it is to find a balance between your work and your personal time. In the end, we are working in order to gain the necessary funds to support our lives, what would you do with the money earned if in the process you overworked yourself to death?
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