Professor John Ashton, Joint Director of Public Health for NHS Cumbria and Cumbria County, has said that the structure of the working week is making us prone to mental illnesses.
Swapping to a four day week, professor Ashton has said, will combat the high levels of work day stress that are prevalent in the population.
“We should be moving towards a four day week because the problem we have in the world of work is you’ve got a proportion of the population who are working too hard, and a proportion that haven’t got jobs.”
He argues that this awry distribution of work is leading to stress and mental health issues that relate to it, including anxiety and depression. On the other hand, people who are trapped in unemployment can also suffer mental health issues as a consequence of being unable to get into a career.
“We need a four day week so that people can enjoy their lives, have more time with their families, and maybe reduce high blood pressure because people might start exercising on that extra day.” It was found by a recent survey that one of the key factors that people blame for a lack of exercise is an inability to fit it into the working week.
It is unlikely that the entire UK economy will undergo such a drastic change and allow us a three day weekend, but we can hope.