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People Over 40 Should Have 4-Day Weekends, Says Study

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4-Day Weekends Good For Mental Health Of People Over 40

If you're a regular full-time employee working 40 hours (or more) during the weekday, the weekend is a welcome blessing. But is 48 hours really enough for rest and relaxation, especially for those who have been in the employment game for much longer?

According to an article on New Jersey Online, Melbourne Institute's Working Paper Series says that no, the two-day weekend is not enough. For 40-year old workers to be sharper and more protective in the work environment, they need more.

Specifically, they need at least a four-day weekend.

The report states that "work can be a double-edged sword, in that it can stimulate brain activity, but at the same time, long working hours and certain types of tasks can cause fatigue and stress which potentially damage cognitive functions."

For middle-aged and older workers, part-time hours are more beneficial and much more effective at maintaining cognitive functions.

In a group of 3,500 Australian women and 3,000 Australian men between the ages of 40 and 69 and from various educational backgrounds, participants were tested in three cognitive functionality tests: reading comprehension, number and letter matching, and recitation of numbers in reverse.

"For working hours up to around 25 hours a week, an increase in working hours has a positive impact on cognitive functioning," says the study. "However, when working hours exceed 25 hours per week, an increase in working hours has a negative impact on cognition."

Unemployed participants and those working full-time tested at least 15 percent lower than participants who worked 25 hours a week. Researchers also found that there was no significant differences in the results between men and women, which means that long work hours can affect anyone's cognitive abilities regardless of gender.

"Our study highlights that too much work can have adverse effects on cognitive functioning," says the report.

After all, despite the monetary benefits of employment, it's still important to relax from the stress. Besides, you do better work when you're stress-free.