In recent years, we’ve been learning more about the importance of work-life balance, while also realizing the scary truth: Few of us actually have a solid balance between our jobs and our free time…which can affect our mental and physical well-being. And a new study shows that working more than 39 hours (aka an hour less than the standard U.S. work week) could be bad for you.
A study done by the Australian National University in 2017 found that most of us must do a significant amount of unpaid labor per week (i.e. laundry, childcare, yard work, taxes, etc). Meaning we’re not just working when we’re at work. After reviewing statistics from about 8,000 Australian adults, the study found that people should ideally work 39 hours a week so that they may have time to do household-based labor and have time for important self-care, like cooking nutritious meals and exercising.
Perhaps even more interesting, head researcher Dr. Huong Dinh cited 34 hours of paid labor per week as the healthy work limit for women, since they’re often tasked with managing more of the household chores once they clock out for the day (though perhaps an even more reasonable/equitable solution would to encourage men to do a fair share of labor around the house…just saying).
Paired with the fact that studies show an eight hour work day is actually too long to maintain true productivity, we think labor reform is definitely in order. Are you listening, world?