Why a four-day workweek is not good for your health

Source: Allard Dembe, The Conversation, September 2, 2016

….Many employers and employees love the thought of a four-day workweek. Supposedly, a four-day work schedule allows workers extra time to pursue leisure activities and family togetherness. Spurred on by visions of spending more time at the beach, many people are now encouraging businesses to adopt this kind of work plan.

There are many purported advantages. Some authorities say that a four-day work schedule facilitates the ability to provide child care and assistance for the elderly.

Proponents of such “compressed” work schedules − those in which employees work longer hours for fewer days of the week – point to gains in productivity that result from decreased overhead costs, such as not having to keep the lights on when nobody is working. Additional cost savings can be obtained from reducing total weekly commuting time…..

….This is an issue in which I have considerable experience. I have been studying the health effects of long working hours for nearly 30 years. All the studies point to the potential dangers that can occur as the result of the additional risks created when work demands exceed a particular threshold. Most of the studies I have performed suggest that the dangers are most pronounced when people regularly work more than 12 hours per day or 60 hours per week….