Why a 4-Day Workweek May Not Be Good for Your Health

by mustyanklesock on September 5, 2016 - 9:51pm

A four day workweek may seem glamourous. An entire extra day to yourself sounds amazing, but in reality, it poses a serious threat on your physical and mental health.

For starters, a regular full-time schedule is about 40 hours long (8 hours per day). If you were to squeeze that 40 hours into four days, you would be working 10 hours per day. According to a study conducted by the author, the risk of suffering an industrial accident is raised 37% when you’ve worked more than 12 hours a day. Accounting for your 10 hour day plus an occasional overtime, you would be putting yourself at danger by working these hours.

Also, people don’t function well when both tired and stressed. By the end of an 8 hour shift, most people are already defeated, so imagine working 10 hours every day (plus a potential overtime). Even if you were to be working 4 days a week, the work you’d be doing wouldn’t be done as effectively as it could be if you were to be working a more laid out schedule. The author states that they have a hard enough time completing work over a five day schedule, alluding to the fact that a four day schedule would be disastrous.

Therefore, a four day workweek is not beneficial. Trying to fit a week’s worth of work into four days leads to both stress and fatigue which takes a toll on your mental and physical health. You would be putting yourself in danger. Also, your work wouldn’t be done as well as it could be if you were working a more dispersed workweek.  

SUMMARY:

ISSUE:

Is a four day workweek healthy?

PREMISES:

-Fulfilling the required hours per week in a more compact schedule can lead to serious health effects. Five eight hour shifts would equate to four ten hour shifts.

-Working ten hours a day, and possible overtime, contributes to fatigue and stress which takes a huge toll on most workers.

-People don’t function well when both tired and stressed, meaning that although the work is compacted into a tighter schedule, the work is being done less effectively.

CONCLUSION:

There are other alternatives to a four day work schedule. A four day workweek is not healthy.

MY OPINION:

Personally, I’m not entirely sold, but I can see where the author is coming from and I do consider what they’re saying to be true for most people. To be fair though, I can never see myself working in a job that can put me in physical danger, so I guess I have to consider that when I opt in to possibly working a 12 hour shift. However, I think that having an extra day off may give me an incentive to work even harder in order to ensure I have a longer weekend. Or maybe, I’ll become so accustomed to having a three day weekend that I’ll maintain the same habits I have now. I’ll become so used to the long weekends that they’ll feel short and eventually someone will support the notion of a three day workweek meaning that the cycle has repeated itself.  

In conclusion, I recognize that there may be consequences associated with a three day weekend, but I’m choosing to disregard them because I would rather have more time to myself than have to show up to work or school an extra day.

 

LINK TO THE ARTICLE:

http://www.livescience.com/55984-four-day-workweek-may-be-unhealthy.html

 

Comments

It would've been to think that a 4-day schedule for work could have way more benefits, huh? Oh wells. In any case, nice summary, it's simple to read and the summary was well written. It was consistent and had no confusing points for me.

The research methods weren't very clear (I skimmed the original article so I may have missed some important points, so I apologize for that!). What kind of work are they talking about here? I know that some work can be way more exhausting for others but not all of them would cause stress problems. There's also the fact that not everyone manages stress the same, some might have a greater stress capacity, some have lower so a 4 hour workweek might not seem as bad for the ones who has a greater one than those who don't.

I have always thought that a 4 day week would have so many benefits but after reading your summary I realize that it does not have many benefits to it. with the work load and the fatigue as stated in your summary.
I think that there is a hasty generalization in this thought process, it doesn't seem like a study was conducted to see if people were willing to work 10 hours a day. This article also doesn't take into consideration each individual and how they manage their jobs. Many jobs are not as stressful as others and maybe a 10 hour work day will not be that bad. As I have read in the article, they should not have just tested on business men, who are the most stressed of all.
Maybe I have misunderstood the article and the conclusion, I will be glad to talk more about this.

Hi!
I found your article to be very intriguing and fun to read! It's a great topic and it was really easy to understand. I also learnt a lot of things simply by reading your article! However, I think that your premises weren't very precise and clear. For example, your third premise ("People don’t function well when both tired and stressed, meaning that although the work is compacted into a tighter schedule, the work is being done less effectively."), is not quite effective. Your sample seems to be based only on popularity. The use of the word "people" is not very convicing and we kind of don't take the argument seriously. It's only based on popularity and there isn't some sort of study that proves where those "people" come from. If it was based on a scientific review or somethingelse with a relevant authority figure, it sould be something else. However, maybe I didn't understand it correctly. I would love to hear your thoughts about my comment!
Thank you!

Hey!
This is a very interesting topic to me because i work, and now that I've started college i haven't been really able to work as much. i feel like you really took your time writing this and that it shows in your work. the first critique i have on your piece is that your last premise talks about how people become tired and stressed which makes them work less effectively. i think this is kind of vague because just cause something makes you stress doesn't mean its necessarily bad for you, so i feel like this premise is not acceptable and that it doesn't support the conclusion. My second critique is that i feel like the way the survey was conducted was pretty bias, because it only talks about people who worked 10 hour shifts, so it can't really conclude for everyone because if i work 4 days but only work 3 hours a day is it still not healthy? Other then those things i really feel like you did a good job on this summary.

Your opinion on the matter, especially your point about getting used to working 10 hours per day made me think of how people can adapt to their living and working conditions. For example, getting up early was hard for me until it became a routine and now I can't sleep past 8 am when I have the day off. The statistics and facts in your article might be generalising and/or misleading a bit, the one saying that the risk of suffering an industrial accident is raised by 37% when you have worked more than 12 hours a day for example. Accidents happens more often in factories and manual jobs, because the environment is already more dangerous than an office job when you're not tired. Also, even if people don't function well under stress and fatigue, a lot of jobs requires them to work outside of their paid hours, like teachers correcting articles and comments on newsactivist.com or business men/women making plans and studying charts to prepare for their meetings. These are just the first things that popped into my head when I re-read your article, but I think these are things that should be taken into account when we want to clear things up on an issue like that.