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How Many Hours Do You Work, And How Much Is Too Much?

Danish professor James W. Vaupel says that we should work more when we are old, and we should work just 25 hours a week when we are young. How many hours a week do you put in, and how far is that from what you think is ideal?

Picture: Horia Varlan/Flickr

Vaupel explains his reasoning:

“We’re getting older and older here in Denmark. Kids who are 10 years old today should be able to work until the age of 80. In return, they won’t need to work more than 25 hours per week when they become adults,” says Professor James W. Vaupel, who heads a new research centre at the University of Southern Denmark, which opened earlier this week.

“In socio-economic terms it makes a lot of sense. The important thing is that we all put in a certain amount of work — not at what point in our lives we do it. In the 20th century we had a redistribution of wealth. I believe that in this century, the great redistribution will be in terms of working hours.”

While 25 hours may seem crazy by today’s standards, there is logic to Vaupel’s argument. Research shows that elderly people who work part-time are healthier than those who don’t work, meaning that work in later life could actually be beneficial. Plus, it gives you more time to spend with your family when you’re young.

How many hours do you work per week now? What do you think is your ideal workload? Do you agree with the 25-hour work week? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

We should only work 25 hours a week, argues professor [ScienceNordic via Hacker News]