German Doctors Call for Siesta to Combat Heatwave
German medical professionals have advocated for the implementation of siesta, or a midday nap, as a means to combat rising summer temperatures that hinder productivity. The Chairman of the Federal Association of German Medical Officers (BVÖGD), Johannes Nissen, made this statement in an interview with RND.
Nissen believes that Germany should look to Southern European countries and adopt a concept of working in hot weather, which involves starting work early, being productive in the morning, and taking a midday break. He believes that this concept should be embraced during the summer months.
BVÖGD doctors urge the shifting of more strenuous parts of the workday to the morning when employees are not yet exhausted from the heat. Nissen explains that people are not as productive as usual in hot weather, and poor sleep due to warm nights can lead to additional concentration problems.
"We need to take cues from how people work in hot weather in southern countries: rising early, working productively in the morning, and resting at noon. People are not as productive as usual when it's very hot. Poor sleep due to warm nights can result in additional attention concentration issues," Nissen asserts.
Additionally, he calls for providing "sufficient amounts of fans and lighter clothing, even if it doesn't conform to office dress code rules." He adds that workers and individuals in general should drink more water and eat smaller portions throughout the day.
Siesta, a Spanish term meaning a break often involving a nap or other form of relaxation during the hottest hours of the day, is a common practice in hot regions worldwide.
It is worth noting that Southern Europe is preparing for an intensification of dangerously high temperatures as the current heatwave exacerbates the climate crisis. Hot air from Africa remains in place, and high-pressure conditions persist, resulting in continuous heat accumulation in the seas, on land, and in the air.
Italy, Spain, and Greece have already been experiencing scorching heat for several days, but the European Space Agency warns that it is only just beginning.