These are the optimum hours you should be working in middle age

Lynsey Barber
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Time to wind down in middle age? Scientists say, yes (Source: Getty)

Ever feel like you're working too much? You'll love what these scientists have to say, especially if you're already over the age of 40.

Boffins down under have identified the optimal number of hours we should be working in middle age, and beyond, to keep us sufficiently stimulated, but not so overwhelmed that we become less productive.

"Work can be a double edged sword, in that it can stimulate brain activity, but at the same time, long working hours and certain types of tasks can cause fatigue and stress which potentially damage cognitive functions," they outline in the study.

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They found working less than around 25 hours a week had a positive impact on cognitive functioning. On the other hand, working more than 25 hours per week had negative impacts on cognition.

For women, the optimal working hours to feel the greatest positive effect were identified at between 22 and 27 hours per week, and for men, 25 and 30 hours.

It also notes how longer working hours can have a negative impact.

"Too much work can have adverse effects on cognitive functioning," the study concludes. Amen. And bring on those three-day weeks.

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