Union boss wants Germans to take siestas

15th July 2011, Comments 2 comments

Germans should take a lunchtime nap at work to help reduce stress and recharge their batteries, a top trade union official say, 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 this 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 United States 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 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.

© 2011 AFP

2 Comments To This Article

  • Mari posted:

    on 18th July 2011, 09:19:19 - Reply

    No comment for the bunch of prejudice coming out of Merkel' s mouth. So much for open mindness!
  • gerhart malunat posted:

    on 15th July 2011, 18:05:56 - Reply

    German worker : productive work accomplished.
    Some other nationalities : marking time for early retirement with full pay