Wed, Jul 20, 2011 - Page 17 News List

Union boss wants Germans to take siestas
工會幹部要員工午睡 以增加工作效率

A booth builder drinks water in front of a poster for batteries during the preparations for the Hanover Fair in Hanover, Germany on April 1.

Photo: EPA

Germans should take a lunchtime nap at work to help reduce stress and recharge their batteries, a top trade union official has said, in what would be a revolution in a country that espouses a strong work ethic.

“A short lunchtime nap reduces the risk of a heart attack and helps renew energy,” Annelie Buntenbach, a member of the executive board of the DGB confederation of German trade unions said in an article to be published last weekend by the Tageszeitung newspaper.

Before the industrial revolution, Germans used to take siestas, University of Regensburg sleep expert Juergen Zulley told the newspaper.

After such naps “we react faster, are more attentive, our memory is better and our mood also improves,” he added.

Buntenbach also said a debate was needed over the ever-higher work pace brought on by modern means of communications, including e-mails and phone calls.

A recent study by the University of Athens Medical School in Greece and the Harvard School of Public Health in the US suggested that Greeks who take at least three 30-minute siestas a week have a 37 percent lower risk of heart disease related death compared to those who skip a nap.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently criticized southern Europeans from debt-depressed countries for allegedly working less than Germans.

Statistics published last year by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) point however to a different result.

A German works an average 1,390 hours a year, compared to 2,119 hours for a Greek and 1,773 hours for an Italian, the OECD said.












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