An Extended Weekend Would Make Us Healthier Says Science

by Daniel Barna

The benefits of implementing a three-day weekend for every workweek extend far beyond an extra day of boating at the cottage. According to recent studies, working less could mean radical improvements for both our physical and mental health.

For example, experiments conducted in Sweden in 2015—in which the working hours of its participants were reduced—found that productivity increased and illnesses decreased. Alex Williams, a lecturer in sociology at the City Universty of London, argues that a shorter workweek improves “work/life balance” by giving us “more time to spend on social activities, to care for children and the elderly, and to engage with our communities.” 

The question is, how does a society that has run on a five-day workweek make that transition? Wouldn’t productivity plummet and throw our economy into chaos? Not necessarily. Economists have long argued that a regular workday is often filled with superfluous hours, meaning workers are often not used to their full potential. Williams writes that instead of working longer hours "for little productive benefit," we should just "embrace a shorter working week and help save our planet and our own well-being."

For more theories on why we should change the work week read The Five Day Weekend: A Proposal for Calendar and Work-Schedule Change, and let us know if you think we need an extra day in our weekend. 

Explore: weekends, employment

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