Posts tagged with "Six months"

The world’s biggest four-day work week pilot begins

June 8, 2022

Thousands of UK workers started a four-day work week on Monday, June 6, with no cut to their pay in the largest-ever trial of its kind, reports CNN.

The pilot—which has been designed to last for six months—involves 3,300 workers spanning 70 companies, ranging from providers of financial services to a fish-and-chip restaurant.

During the program, workers will receive 100% of their pay for working only 80% of their usual week, in exchange for promising to maintain 100% of their productivity.

The program is being run by not-for-profit 4 Day Week Global; Autonomy, a think tank; and the 4 Day Week UK Campaignl; in partnership with researchers from Cambridge University, Oxford University, and Boston College.

Sienna O’Rourke, brand manager at Pressure Drop Brewing, an independent brewery in London, told CNN Business that the company’s biggest goal was to improve the mental health and well-being of its employees.

“The pandemic [has] made us think a great deal about work and how people organize their lives,” she said. “We’re doing this to improve the lives of our staff and be part of a progressive change in the world.”

Given that the company manufactures and ships products, workers have less flexibility about when and where they work, O’Rourke said. But any difficulties in navigating holiday and sick leave would be tackled as a team.

Until now, Iceland had conducted the biggest pilot of a shorter working week (between 2015 and 2019), with 2,500 public sector workers involved in two large trials. Those trials found no corresponding drop in productivity among participants, and a dramatic increase in employee well-being.

Calls to shorten the working week have gathered steam in recent years in several countries. As millions of employees switched to remote work during the pandemic—cutting onerous commuting time and costs—calls for greater flexibility have only grown louder.

Government-backed trials are set to take place in Spain and Scotland later this year, the 4 Day Week Campaign said in a press release.

Joe O’Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said that the workers have shown they can work “shorter and smarter.”

He notes, “As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognizing that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge.”

Researchers will measure the impact the new working pattern has on productivity levels, gender equality, and the environment; as well as worker well-being.

Research contact: @CNNBusiness

Run for your life: Training for your first marathon may reverse aging

January 8, 2020

Training for six months and completing your first 26-mile marathon run can add back up to four years to your heart health, according to new UK research findings, ABC News reports.

The study, published January 6 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, says the training can lower blood pressure and aortic stiffness to the equivalent of a four-year reduction in vascular health.

This result isn’t surprising to Dr. Alton Barron, clinical associate professor of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, who was not involved in the study but has run 15 marathons and 50 half-marathons.

“Running has long-term health benefits,” he told ABC News. “The beautiful part of running is that it’s just our body—it doesn’t require a membership fee or using equipment. You just go outside and start running.”

Aerobic exercise is good for your health because it decreases blood vessel stiffness and increases blood flow. It reduces vessel stiffness by reducing inflammation and ramping up wall stress. Wall stress causes the release of nitric oxide, which relaxes the smooth muscle in the blood vessels.

Marathons attract millions of people every year, ranging from first-time enthusiasts to professional athletes. According to RunRepeat’s State of Running 2019, participation in races peaked in 2016 with a total of 9.1 million—with the highest number of participants running in 5-kilometer races and half marathons.

For the study, researchers from various institutions in the United Kingdom examined 138 untrained, relatively healthy adults who underwent six months of training for their first marathon in London.

They found that after six months of training and completion of the marathon, it was possible to have reduced blood pressure and vessel stiffness and reversed the consequences of aging large vessels by approximately four years. Older males with slower marathon run times and higher blood pressure at baseline benefited the most.

However, doing so is a major commitment: Training for marathons can be expensive and experts suggest that long-distance runners should cover a minimum distance of 18.6 miles per week before a marathon to reduce their risk of running related injury. What’s more, first-time runners may encounter additional barriers such as being overweight, out of sharp, and lacking motivation, Barron told ABC News.

“Starting anything can be intimidating and scary. I would suggest you find a companion who is on your level or has the same desires and start with small goals. For non-runners, walk every day and gradually build.” Barron advised.

“Stress fractures and shin splints occur by doing too much too fast,” Barron told ABC News.

Research contact: @abcnews