Do you happen to be a working person who is also over 40? If so, you might want to consider this new study published for the Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, arguing that more than 25 working hours can be detrimental to one’s cognition.
Working too much is insalubrious for the health – this is a fact. Researchers are also always investigating the subtleties of this statement, and the extent to which the effects might extend. The new study, conducted by an international team of scientists who investigated the link in a group of 6,500 workers from Australia, shows that working over a certain number of hours might lead to stress, thereby affecting cognition.
3,000 men and 3,500 women over the age of 40 were tested: they were categorised into three groups, and each one went through either a memory score test or a reading test or a perceptive ability test. The results pertaining to all three groups show that 25 to 30 working hours per week “will maximise your cognitive skill”, according to researcher Colin McKenzie.
He explains that working is stimulating for the brain at the beginning. However, with time, the stress that comes with work increases such that the benefits obtained are affected, resulting in cognitive decline. Stress has known to be detrimental to the health. Previous studies have shown that it negatively influences cognitive function, and that it can even lead to the loss of neurones.
The findings also indicate that the effect was similar in both men and women.
The authors do add that their study does not establish a causal link between working too much and cognitive performance. More research will have to be done in order to ascertain the association.
It is to be noted that this effect was only seen in people over the age of 40. Therefore, it cannot be extrapolated to younger people without evidence.
Wouldn’t it be absolutely wonderful if this association was confirmed leading to countries reducing the number of working hours?!