German Trade Unions Are Pushing For Siestas

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The German confederation of trade unions (DGB) is advocating for the return of the siesta. 

“Even though the siesta is something that isn’t a given anymore in the southern European countries, it is still a good idea for health reasons,” Annelie Buntenbach, a DGB executive board member told the German paper Tageszeitung. “A short afternoon nap reduces the risk of, for example, a heart attack, and provides an energy boost.”

The Harvard School of Public Health and University of Athens Medical School recently released a study of 23,000 Greek adults, which found that those who took siestas (30-minute midday naps) three or more times a week had a lower risk for heart disease.

Major German companies, including Opel and Lufthansa, already provide workers with nap rooms, reports The Guardian. Which harkens back to the old days: before the Industrial Revolution, Germans used to take naps, but the increased labour demands phased out the trend.

Despite the health benefits, not everyone is in favour — in part because it would make the workday longer. “It’s different in Spain and Italy, where you need a nap because it’s so hot,” a Berlin electrician tells The Guardian. “But here in Germany, we don’t even have proper summers.”

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