As employers are being encouraged to do more to support mental health in the workplace, a new study reveals that by implementing shorter working weeks and longer weekends, it could be incredibly beneficial to an employees’ mental wellbeing.
In one of our recent articles, we shared how 4-day working weeks are becoming increasingly popular as part of a bid to tackle the growing mental health crisis. However, despite the fact that such experiments appear to be successful, little research has taken place into just how many working hours per week are optimum for maintaining good mental health.
Previous research has shown that unemployment, and the lack of stability and security that comes with it, is a direct cause of poor mental health and elevates levels of psychological distress.
So if being unemployed is bad for mental health, just how many hours of work bring about positive effect on your mental health?
Over a 9 year period, with a sample of over 71,000 workers, researchers from Cambridge University found that working up to 8 hours per week boosts wellbeing, whereas a ‘standard’ week of 37-40 hours per week brought no additional health benefits. The participants were analysed after they were asked about work-related issues, anxiety and sleep deprivation.
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