Relaxation study: restless Greeks, rested Slovaks, balanced Swiss

The study of a British bedding manufacturer has revealed that Greece is the most restless country in Europe, followed by Italy and the Netherlands Switzerland ranks eighth out of 28 countries.

(Image: Anton Estrada)

Online furniture retailer Bed Kingdom analyzed eight factors in 28 European countries to find out where people are most restless. Each factor was weighted equally to create an overall "rest score" of 100 for each country.

The factors considered were the minimum number of paid annual leave days and holidays, the maximum allowed weekly working hours, the minimum legal duration of rest breaks, the annual working hours per person, the daily and weekly rest periods, and the proportion of the population sleeping 7 hours or more at night.

Greece proved to be the most restless country in Europe, scoring an impressive 69.84 out of 100. In addition to only 9 paid holidays per year, employees in Greece have a legal minimum of 15 minutes for work breaks, which is one of the lowest scores of any country in the study. Greece also has the fifth highest annual working hours per person. Employees are expected to work 1824 hours per year and receive a minimum of 20 days of paid annual leave.

The most restless countries in Europe - rank 1 to 10 according to Bed-Kingdom study

Italy came in second with a score of 70.74 out of 100. They also provide their workers with only 20 days of paid annual leave, which is the minimum that all European countries should offer. Italy also ranked high because of the 10-minute rest breaks required by law for workers, which is the least amount of time of any country in the study. The Netherlands ranks third with a score of 71.82 out of 100, offering one of the shortest legally required times for rest breaks of only 15 minutes and only 8 days of minimum paid leave.

Slovakia was revealed as the best rested country in Europe, scoring an impressive 86.04 out of 100. In addition to 28 paid vacation days, Slovak workers are entitled to an additional 15 days of paid holidays. Slovakia is also one of only three European countries that have 12 hours of rest between workdays, instead of the standard 11 hours across Europe. Finland and Bulgaria ranked second and third with comparable results to Slovakia. An astounding 83 percent of the Finnish population gets the recommended 7 or more hours of sleep per night, the highest figure in the study. Portugal came in fourth with a "rest score" of 83.89, while Estonia was fifth with a score of 82.62.

The most rested countries in Europe - rank 1 to 10 according to Bed Kingdom study

Contrary to the perception that often exists, Switzerland does not occupy the place in Europe of either the hard-working, as we like to call ourselves, or the lazy. Rather, our position is in the middle, with room to maneuver in both directions. The full ranking is available here.

Methodology and Criteria:

This study looked at which European countries are likely to be the most restless or calm. 28 countries were scored on eight equally weighted factors that indicate how restless a population might be. Each country was given a total score of 100. The eight factors analyzed were:

  • Proportion of population receiving 7+ hours of sleep per night
  • Minimum number of paid annual leave days
  • Minimum number of paid holidays
  • Maximum permitted weekly working hours, including overtime
  • Statutory minimum duration of rest breaks
  • Annual working hours per person
  • Hours of daily rest (e.g., between work days).
  • Hours of weekly rest (e.g. uninterrupted rest on weekends).

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