Organizational Development

A little nap won’t kill you … or will it?

Napa Taking a nap at work each day might just save your life. Or it might end up killing you.

Confused? Not as confused as you'll be when you find out that both points of view come from Harvard University. This Workforce Management article tries to explain:

  • A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine examined 23,000 Greek men and women ages 20 to 86 for an average of six years. The study found that those who napped for half an hour three times a week "had a 37 percent lower death rate from heart disease."
  • Nearly seven years earlier, however, a researcher at Harvard's School of Public Health offered a very different perspective. "That study," states the article, "compared approximately 500 Costa Ricans who had survived heart attacks with a nearly equal number of healthy people. Those who suffered heart attacks were 50 percent more likely to have taken a daily siesta."

Contradictions? Not really, says Martin Moore-Ede, a physiologist and the chief executive of Circadian Technologies. “Napping is a great solution if you are energetic and active and if you have adequate exercise during the day, but it’s not a great solution if you are a couch potato.”

So nap away, health nuts! Just don't let the boss catch you ...


Bill Sheridan