MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Most researchers agree that Americans work more hours than anyone else in the world. That may be bad for our health. So, do we need a day of rest?

On this Sunday, the traditional day of rest, we didn’t see much resting going on — just a lot of doing.

Dr. Michael Sleeth is an ER doctor turned author and pastor. His book, “24/6,” calls for a return to one full day of rest.

“I think we have a heritage of being a people who value work. We have a work ethic,” said Sleeth. “That used to be balanced with a day of rest, but now we just have a work ethic.”

Society used to make this easier, but now businesses are open and work never stops.

The brain makes chemicals to counteract stress, which is fine, except if we’re always stressed. The immediate concerns are hypertension, anxiety and depression.

“I think there is a point where we’re working ourselves to death,” added Sleeth.

The long-term concerns?

“You go a lifespan over 70 years, that’s 10 years of rest,” he said. “To take 10 years of resting away from the average person changes their character. To take it away from an entire nation may result in some profound changes,” said Sleeth.

So, what’s rest?

“I tell people, ‘figure out what work is for you and don’t do it.’ That’s what ‘24/6’ is about. For some people, what is restful may be working in the garden. For some people, it may be kicking back in the recliner,” said Sleeth.

People who rest, plan for it and it’s a commitment. People still can do things, including take walks and eat family dinner, but it has to be for you.


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