You hear it all the time. We Americans are a hard-working people, a work-obsessed, productivity-driven nation.
Yes and no. Or, for you and me as individuals, maybe just no.
The following “5” come from a Washington Post article by Brigid Schulte. Working too hard costs us, and Schulte isn’t talking dollars. Here, according to Schulte’s reporting, is what Americans get for their “too hard” work:
“Americans spend almost twice as much on health care per person than people in other advanced nations … ” (according to the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine).
We’re the richest nation in the world, and also the most anxious, according to the World Health Organization.
The heavy stress affects brain volumes, according to a study by the Yale Stress Center.
“The United States ranks toward the bottom of the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development’s work-life balance scale.”
Gallup estimated that 70 percent of Americans are disengaged from their jobs. So, while our productivity may look pretty stellar as a country, our productivity per hour of work is not especially great.
“So yes, America, work hard,” writes Schulte.
“Hoo-ah American ingenuity, gumption and drive. But remember that inspiration comes in the shower, on a walk, in a moment of rest, not when your nose is to the grindstone. It’s just the way our brains are wired.”