If you’re over 40, working more than 25 hours a week could be affecting your intelligence, new research suggests.
By: Georgina Kanyon
Published: BBC, 18 July 2016, http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20160714-is-full-time-work-bad-for-our-brains
Level of difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
· Why the 8 hour workday doesn’t work http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/06/07/why-the-8-hour-workday-doesnt-work/#4048933f7981
· Employers in Sweden introduce the 6 hour workday http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-introduces-six-hour-work-day-a6674646.html
· Amazon tests 30 hour work week http://fortune.com/2016/08/28/amazon-tests-30-hour-work-week/
· How many hour should you work each week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdfPxX1WTrE
1. Read the information concerning The Australian study. What was the underlying reason for their findings?
2. Which of the conclusions below can we draw concerning the above study?
· People should retire at the age of 40
· 40 Year-olds should work 25 hours a week
· We shouldn’t test cognitive functioning in the evening
· Awareness should be raised concerning optimum working hours.
· All of the above
· None of the above: please specify
3. Do the findings of the Australian study come as a complete surprise? Why or Why not?
4. What is surprising about the new findings concerning work and cognitive functioning?
5. What does “That” refer to at the beginning of the last paragraph of the section and why is it significant?
6. We understand from the section on sleep that sleeping 4 or 5 hours a night is nothing to be proud of if you want to be successful because…
7. What is the implication of the findings concerning expert performers?
· We need to hire more workers
· We need to send people home early
· We should shorten the working week
· We should give people freedom at work
· We should let people practice
8. How does Salisbury support his contention that the research is exaggerated? By indicating that……..
9. Why does Evans prefer a 4 day week although she says 3 days would work better for her? Because otherwise….
10. We understand from the last section of the text that it is important for companies to allow for
· Healthy work
· Down time
· Good work
· Extra courses
Discuss the reasons why people may need to reduce their working hours in middle age.
IS FULL TIME WORK BAD FOR OUR BRAINS? KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This text has given me the opportunity to write questions requiring paraphrasing and questions concerning implications and conclusions. As a result, though straightforward, the task is a cognitive challenge and cannot be completed by following context clues. It will be interesting to see what you think of the research; I, for example, completely disagree.
1. Excessively long hours can cause fatigue and physical and/or psychological stress, which potentially damage cognitive functioning
2. None of the above. If you are over 40 and working more than 25 hours a week could be impairing your intelligence OR work can be a double edged sword in that ….
3. No they don’t because previous studies have shown that workers of various ages doing overtime can suffer chronic stress, cognitive impairment and also mental illness
4. Health and cognitive issues can occur at a much lower threshold than previously thought.
5. Having at least one person to look after, a child or an elderly adult, on top of working full time; It creates a job on top of a job
6. Restful sleep is critical to high levels of performance
7. We should shorten the working week
8. He found that he dealt with demands on his time more easily as he gained experienceor just became older
9. She wouldn’t be fully connected to her team
10. Down time