Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Burnout, stress lead more companies to try a four-day work week

4-day-week to prevent burnout, stress

Work four days a week, but get paid for five?

It sounds too good to be true, but companies around the world that have cut their work week have found that it leads to higher productivity, more motivated staff and less burnout.

"It is much healthier and we do a better job if we're not working crazy hours," said Jan Schulz-Hofen, founder of Berlin-based project management software company Planio, who introduced a four-day week to the company's 10-member staff earlier this year.

Other companies having positive results include:
  • In New Zealand, insurance company Perpetual Guardian reported a fall in stress and a jump in staff engagement
  • In Japan, the government is encouraging companies to allow Monday mornings off, as other schemes to persuade employees to take it easy have had little effect.
  • Britain's Trades Union Congress (TUC) is pushing for the whole country to move to a four-day week by the end of the century.

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E-cigarette usage nearly doubles in US high-schools

The percentage of high school seniors who used e-cigarettes in the last 30 days nearly doubled to 20.9% from last year, results of a survey released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed on Monday (Dec 17).

The increase in vaping by 10th and 12th graders was the largest year-over-year jump for any substance ever measured by the survey, which started 44 years ago.

The annual survey, which also measures use of other substances including marijuana, alcohol and opioids, questioned more than 44,000 students from 8th, 10th and 12th grades in US public and private schools.

The percentage of high school students who used nicotine-based vaping devices, known as e-cigarettes, has risen by a third over the past year, the survey showed.

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You may want to read US regulators probe link between vaping and seizures

Study finds antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Brazil pork

Pork products sold at retailers in Brazil contain antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a study funded by animal rights group World Animal Protection (WAP), providing potential evidence of overuse of the medicines in food livestock.

The study, which also looked at pork in three other countries, was conducted by the University of São Paulo on behalf of WAP in Brazil. It examined 100 meat samples from outlets owned by Carrefour, GPA and Walmart, WAP said.

"In all of the samples, the tests detected a generalized presence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics," WPA noted in a report last week describing the study's findings.

Researcher Terezina Knobl told Reuters on Monday that the issue related to super-resistant bacteria is global and addressing it is one of five priorities of the World Health Organization.

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Serious kidney injury common during cancer chemotherapy

Nearly one in 10 cancer patients treated with chemotherapy or newer targeted drugs may be hospitalised for serious kidney injury, a Canadian study suggests.

The study involved roughly 163,000 patients who started chemotherapy or targeted therapies for a new cancer diagnosis in Ontario from 2007 to 2014. Overall, 10,880 were hospitalised with serious kidney damage or for dialysis.

This translated into a cumulative acute kidney injury rate of 9.3%, the study found.

People with advanced tumours were 41% more likely to have acute kidney injuries than patients with early-stage cancer.

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