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Over 40 and working full time? Are you noticing that you are asking colleagues and loved ones to remind you about important meeting times, dinners with friends, or your kids tennis games?

The latest research from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research entitled “Use it too Much or Lose it?”, reveals that our basic retainment of knowledge is adversely affected by working a full week once we hit ‘middle age’!

While working any number of hours is much better for your grey matter than being unemployed, Professor Colin McKenzie (one of the report authors) told the Times UK that: work is a “double edge sword in that it can stimulate brain activity, but at the same time long working hours can cause fatigue and stress, which potentially damage cognitive functions”.

A three day week is considered the optimal number of hours for best performance. 25 – 30 hours promotes intellectual stimulation and supports a more balanced life. Any more work hours leads to an overworked and stressed mind, which in turn impacts your overall health.

Some handy research to subtly leave on your boss’s desk if you are looking to go part-time! And in conversation: “I’ll be even more efficient if I reduce my hours, check out this research from Melbourne Uni!”.


This is our considered but brief and light introduction to the topic. For further information please check out: