Health x Wellness

Working More Than 3 Days A Week Can Hurt Your Brain

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Research has indicated that working too much can affect your cognitive abilities?

Are you 40-years-old or older? Have you been complaining about memory loss or being forgetful at times? If so, the cause might be the fact that you’re working too hard.

A research conducted by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research has discovered that people who are 40 and above tend to perform optimally when they work around 25 hours a week, which is roughly three days a week, and should their working hours exceed 25 per week, they will be cognitively affected in a negative way.

The research analysed data drawn from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey conducted by the institute and analysed the habits and brain test results of 6,500 respondents in the survey.

The research concluded that working from a range of 25 to 30 hours per week can have a positive impact on cognition for males depending on the measure and for females a range between 22 to 27 hours. After that, working hours in excess can have a negative impact on cognitive  functioning. This  indicates that the differences in working hours is an important factor for maintaining cognitive functioning in middle and older adults.

In other words, for active agers, working part-time could effectively help maintain one’s cognitive abilities. It’s also worth noting that the findings did not show any statistically significant gender differences in the effects of working hours on cognitive functioning, which means working excessively can have adverse effects on cognitive functioning regardless of gender. Another interesting point to note is that the study also discovered that people who worked 60 hours a week had lower brain-test scores than those who were not working, which means overtime work is contributing to one’s cognitive (and brain) decline.

Having said that, you should not take this as an excuse to malinger, especially when the hatchet man is at his busiest this time of the year, due to the economic slowdown and challenging business climate. That being said, arresting cognitive decline can come in the form of learning, and with the SkillsFuture credit, you can take the opportunity to learn something new as well as upgrade yourself.




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