Working before 10am: how bad is it for your health?

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Working before 10am: how bad is it for your health?
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Did you know that Albert Einstein needed 10 hours of sleep a night, and that he took naps on top of it? Nowadays, we have the scientific proof that man has always dreamed of: forcing people to work before 10 o’clock in the morning is equivalent to torture and makes us sick, tired and stressed, according to a neuroscience researcher in the University of Oxford, Doctor Paul Kelley. 

Finally, the future does not belong to those who wake up early

You can erase from your memory the highly annoying proverb, “the early bird catches the worm”, and thank Dr. Paul Kelly, an American neuroscience researcher responsible for this study carried out over the course of a 4 year period, with Oxford University.

The first results of a small study led by Dr. Paul Kelley, and the development of a larger study, were reported by The Telegraph.

As Kelley was the principal of Monkseaton secondary school in North Tyneside, these early works consisted of changing the time at which school starts. The start of the school day went from 8:30 am to 10 am. The results: exam results improved by 19%! Dr. Kelly thus became convinced that changing the school start time could increase students’ test results by an average of 10% in all schools.

Similarly, he noted that businesses who required employees to start work earlier, between 5 am and 9am, run the risk of having a negative effect on productivity or output, all the while contributing to health problems among their staff.

Starting the day too early is thus not effective in terms of productivity and causes increased stress and fatigue, and makes employees more vulnerable to illness. 

So what are we waiting for in order to shift the start of the work day to 10 am for those who can, in order to limit sick leave?

10,000 lucky adolescents start school at 10 am as part of a study

The second study led by Dr. Paul Kelley followed suit, and the results should be revealed this year in 2018. Since 2014, tens of thousands of children have been starting school at 10 o’clock in the morning, in a novel Oxford experiment, in order to prove that starting classes later could improve examination relults.

GCSE students from over 100 schools across England took part in the 4 year long project. The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is generally obtained at 16 years old, but there is no specific age restriction.

“It is a huge societal problem. Employees should start at 10 o’clock in the morning. Our circadian rhythm is not synchronised before this time, up until the age of 55. Employees are lacking sleep. We live in a society which is lacking sleep. This is damaging to our bodies, and hindering the physical and emotional systems linked to performance”, explains Paul Kelley to the Telegraph.

According to him, younger children should not start their day before 8:30 am, adolescents should not start before 10 am and college students and adults should not start before 11 am in the morning.


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