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Ithaca Students: Slow down and smell the roses

THACA, NY — “Europeans work, on average, nine fewer weeks than Americans,” said Linda Heyne, associate professor of recreation and leisure studies at Ithaca College. “If we were living in Europe, our work year would now be over.”As of Oct. 24, there will be nine weeks left in 2009. Therefore, that day has been designated Take Back Your Time Day by the Take Back Your Time movement, a U.S./ Canadian initiative that challenges what the organization calls an epidemic of overwork, overscheduling and time famine.To bring attention to the fact that Americans need a break, Heyne and her students will be anticipating Take Back Your Time Day on Friday, Oct. 23, by hosting a table outside Textor 101 and 102. Running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the event is a chance for the campus and local communities to learn how to cope with the problem of overwork and the toll it takes on our health, our families, our relationships and our communities.“We’ll be presenting facts and solutions about the problem of overwork and time poverty in the U.S., as well as personal tips people can follow to take care of themselves and increase the quality of their lives,” Heyne said. “We’ll also have music, posters and other fun displays.”According to the Take Back Your Time movement, only 14 percent of American workers get a vacation of two weeks or more a year while many Europeans enjoy four or five weeks of annual legislated time off. Arguing that the United States is the only industrialized country without a law guaranteeing paid vacations to all workers, the Take Back Your Time movement advocates a federal law guaranteeing American workers three weeks of annual paid vacation. Other Take Back Your Time initiatives include:· Paid childbirth leave for all parents· At least one week paid sick leave for all workers· Making election day a holiday· A limit on compulsory overtimeTo interview Heyne and her students, and to arrange to cover the event, contact Heyne at (607) 274-3050 or lheyne@ithaca.edu.For more information on the Take Back Your Time movement, visit www.timeday.org.

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