Office work can be as tiring as manual labour, study finds

15 August 2022, 15:23

Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Scientists think that mental exhaustion can tire you out just as much as physical work does.

What do you think is more tiring; working in an office or working in manual labour?

This is the debate currently going on after a study found that mental exhaustion can be capable of making you feel just as tired as you would after a day of doing physical labour.

The findings of the study have been published in the Current Biology Journal, where they claim that when intense mental work is carried out over a period of hours, it can cause potentially toxic by-products to build up in the prefrontal cortex.

The debate made its way over to Good Morning Britain today, where The Bald Builders and businessman Richard Farleigh argued their opposing points of view.

The Bald Builders and Richard Farleigh clashed on the study's findings
The Bald Builders and Richard Farleigh clashed on the study's findings. Picture: ITV

Builders and entrepreneurs Sam Hughes, 28, and Brad Hanson, 38, told hosts Charlotte Hawkins and Robert Rinder that there is nothing more exhausting that working on a building site.

The pair said on the show: "We are lucky to be on both sides of the fence, we got an office job, we do social media and we have got our own radio show, so we are in the office half of the time.

"It is tiring and you do take it home but there's nothing more exhausting than being on a building site lifting up concrete blocks, lifting two or three tonnes of material in the morning. There's nothing more tiring than that."

What do you think is more tiring; working in an office or working in manual labour?
What do you think is more tiring; working in an office or working in manual labour? Picture: Getty

Businessman and entrepreneur Richard Farleigh said that while he understands being on a building site can be exhausting, he's glad that this study has shown that mental work is "really tough", and – he argued – often "much tougher".

He said on the morning show: "Mental work is really really tough, and often times much tougher, higher levels of depression more stress, the job involve longer hours and lower pay.

"Doctors and solicitors often get paid less, some of the tradespeople get paid a lot."

The builders said there is "nothing more exhausting" than working on a building site
The builders said there is "nothing more exhausting" than working on a building site. Picture: ITV

He added: "When you work in an office you don't always get a chance to exercise, when are you going to squeeze that in if you have got a family? As the boys said you take your work home a lot of the time, when you work on a building site you leave it there."

The Bald Builders argued that labours are often put in bad positions due to the weather, which can stop them from making money, whereas an office job isn't effected by the elements.