Texte N° 1
It can be difficult to find a balance in life between work, family, friends, commitments and free time. It can often feel like a juggling act. But what happens when work takes over ?
At present, in the midst of a financial crisis, many people are working harder, and for longer, in order to make ends meet. Job security has become more important than ever. However, there is a down-side. It is well-known that working too much can affect other parts of your life. It can put a strain on family relationships. It can also result in mental and physical fatigue. More and more people are taking time off work due to stress.
However, the results of a recent study could add even more stress and worry to their already busy lives. The study suggests that the effects of overwork are similar to the effects of smoking and can even increase the risk of dementia later in life.
As they are known to be a nation of workaholics, employees in the UK might worry the most about these findings. Statistics show that they work some of the longest hours of any European Union country, yet they do not have the same quality of life as many of their European neighbours. They also get fewer bank holidays.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) claims that long hours affect workers' health. Those who regularly work over 48 hours per week are at increased risk of stress, which can result in health problems. The TUC also found that long hours are not necessary for economic success because people who work long hours become tired and so they are less productive. The TUC suggest that the solution is not more hours of work, but better organisation and more training.
TEXTE N° 2
Russia wasn't adequately prepared for its stifling heatwave that is thought to have killed thousands of people, according to a leading scientist. As well as soaring temperatures, Moscow has suffered severe air pollution caused by forest fires. In the capital alone nearly 6,000 more people died in July than in the same month last year. It has led experts to make some awkward comparisons.
“European countries, the USA and Canada have accumulated vast experience of how to react during heatwaves,” he says, singling out a hot spell that killed up to 50,000 people in the EU in 2003.
“As for us, the only thing I can cite is a letter from the Russian Health Ministry on the issue. Regrettably, we are now just on our way to having such a national plan.”
It is thought most of those who died from the heat were elderly. Many had taken shelter in social centres. But these, like hospitals, maternity wards and ambulances, usually have no air-conditioning. While cooler weather forecast by the weekend should bring cleaner air to Moscow, more figures are awaited on the heatwave's victims. The debate on how to limit the damage in future is only just beginning.