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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
B.
For A i held it after i read it first time.after reading B i thought had 2 contenders (b more weakening)

rest c,d and e i could easily eliminate.

After going to these choices again B seemed more hurting to the argument.It says employees are not going to join fitness programs who are are more frequently absent.
So this shows the rate of absentees is going to be same as before.
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
The argument is that if companies started fitness programs, then the absentee rate in those companies would decrease significantly.
This is based on the fact that the more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hours each week, the fewer sick days they take; even if employees exercise only once a week during work hours.

However, the argument assumes that starting a fitness program would encourage participation in that program beyond the employees who already engage in physical activities on their on accord.

We are then asked to weaken the argument.
A - is incorrect as this is an after effect and it is irrelevant to the effectiveness of the program to reduce absenteeism
B - is correct as it underpins the flawed assumption made by the company. If existing absentee employees are also the least likely to cooperate/ join the program then the program won't be effective in reducing absenteeism
C - is incorrect because it is completely irrelevant.
D - is is irrelevant to whether the plan will reduce absenteeism
E - is irrelevant to whether the plan will reduce absenteeism
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
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fozzzy wrote:
The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hours each week, the fewer sick days they take. Even employees who exercise only once a week during working hours take less sick time than those who do not exercise. Therefore, if companies started fitness programs, the absentee rate in those companies would decrease significantly.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Employees who exercise during working hours occasionally fall asleep for short periods of time after they exercise.

(B) Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or join a cooperate fitness program.

(C) Employees who exercise only once a week in their company's fitness program usually also exercise after work.

(D) Employees who exercise in their company's fitness program use their working time no more productively than those who do not exercise.

(E) Employees who exercise during working hour take slightly longer lunch breaks than employees who do not exercise.

CR13661.01


Official Explanation

Argument Evaluation

The argument suggests that the greater the amount of time employees take to exercise during working hours, the fewer sick days these employees take. This is true even of employees who exercise just once a week during work hours.

Based on this evidence, the argument concludes that companies that start fitness programs will see a significant decrease in the absentee rate.

The question asks us to identify a serious weakness in the argument. The argument as stated does not address the following fundamental problem: the same employees who are frequently absent may also fail to make use of such a fitness program. If that is true, therefore, the evidence provided would give us little reason to believe that those who are currently frequently absent would be absent less often if such a program were implemented.

A. This answer choice may call into question the advisability of starting such a fitness program. That, however, is not what the argument's conclusion is about. The argument's conclusion states that company-run fitness programs will reduce absentee rates, but this choice tells us nothing about what effect, if any, such fitness programs would have on absentee rates.

B. Correct. The argument assumes that exercising during office hours will lead employees to be absent from work less frequently. However, this choice indicates that those who are frequently absent are the least likely to make use of a company fitness program. That could mean that these employees will use such fitness programs rarely, if at all. If so, we would have far less reason to believe that there would be a significant decline in the absentee rate if such a program were implemented.

C. This answer choice is outside the scope of the argument: we are not given any information about how exercise outside of work affects absentee rates.

D. This answer choice is outside the scope of the argument: the argument's conclusion is about absentee rates; the argument does not concern productivity.

E. This answer choice is outside the scope of the argument: there is no information to suggest any correlation between the length of lunch breaks and the use of fitness programs or the length of lunch breaks and rates of absence.

The correct answer is B.
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
(B) Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or join a cooperate fitness program.

Got confused with C but then gave some thought.

Nice question
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
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The correct answer is option (B)


Let us understand the passage:

1. The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hours each week, the fewer sick days they take.
i.e an employee who takes time to exercise 3 times a week takes lesser sick days than an employee who takes time to exercise say a time a week (More frequency, less sick days)

2. Even employees who exercise only once a week during working hours take less sick time than those who do not exercise.
i.e. even an employee who takes time out only once a week during work hours takes less sick days than one who does not exercise during work hours ( More frequency, less sick days - Frequency of even one has lesser sick days than zero frequency)

3. Therefore, if companies started fitness programs, the absentee rate in those companies would decrease significantly.
This is the conclusion of the passage.

If companies started fitness programs, absentee rate should reduce significantly.

Question: Find the weakener

Thought Process:
What are the underlying assumptions made by the author? If we identify those, any statement that negates/counters those assumptions are good weakener statements.

Assumption 1: The employees who are absent regularly will join the fitness program.

What if those employees who are frequently absent have no inclination to join the fitness program, for whatsoever reason. If so, then the absentee rate will not reduce significantly as the core absentees have not joined the program.

Assumption 2: The fitness program does not increase absenteeism due to some other inherent reason

For example, what if the course is not well designed for the fitness level of most of the employees? Then, it may happen that as a result of this program, a large number of employees suffer from issues such as burn out or injuries, which makes them take sick days. In such a case, again the program will not reduce the absentee rate significantly.

A good weakener could be any statement that will work against our assumptions.


(A) Employees who exercise during working hours occasionally fall asleep for short periods of time after they exercise.

Falling asleep at work will not impact absentee rate, as the employee is present in office. Not a weakener (no impact on argument).

(B) Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or join a cooperate fitness program.

This works well against our assumption 1. If employees who are frequently absent do not participate in the program, then these employees would continue their absenteeism. So, even if the absentee rate reduces somewhat due to some people going through the program, it will not reduce significantly because the bulk of the employees who contribute most to absenteeism (frequently absent) are not participating in the program, and will continue the same level of absenteeism.

(C) Employees who exercise only once a week in their company's fitness program usually also exercise after work.

Our conclusion is about all employees, not just those who exercise only once a week. So, definitely not a good weakener. Also, the fact that this group also does additional exercise does not necessarily imply that them working in office hours did not have an positive impact on the absentee rate. We cannot conclude that exercise at work is not effective based on this statement. So, another reason why this is not a correct weakener :).

(D) Employees who exercise in their company's fitness program use their working time no more productively than those who do not exercise.

Irrelevant. Productivity during work hours has nothing to do with absenteeism due to sick days.

(E) Employees who exercise during working hour take slightly longer lunch breaks than employees who do not exercise.

rrelevant. Productivity during work hours has nothing to do with absenteeism due to sick days.

Irrelevant. Extra lunch time during work hours has nothing to do with absenteeism due to sick days.

Cheers!
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
Per Ron's technique, let's personalize the passage:
0. Identify the Q type: weaken
1. Skim the passage: who are the most impactful parties in the outcome in the conclusion? absentees impact absentee rate the most
2. Read the passage as an absentee to understand the argument
3. Know what the conclusion is (fitness program --> less absentee rate/sick time) and how to weaken it (absentees aren't gotta show up more --> this is what we need to weaken the conclusion)
4. Go to the mall of answer choices to shop for what you're looking (B talks about you not joining the fitness program -- Bingo!)
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
Stimulus: P; P; P/C conclusion: absentee rate would decrease significantly, IF companies started fitness programs (critical premise after the comma)
A. Out of scope
a. We’re talking about people who exercise and thus (apparently) decrease the rate at which they’re absent; whether these people fall or asleep or not, as long they exercise and come to work, it doesn’t matter if they sleep or don’t sleep on the jobs
B. Hmm
a. So we’re trying to support/substantiate that the start of fitness program -> decrease in absentee rate, BUT if people who are absent are not going to start the fitness program, it’s essentially pointless to even start one because it’ll have no effect.
b. It says least likely, which doesn’t obliterate the argument but it definitely casts SOME doubt and weakens the crux of the argument. It hits on essential assumption – starting a program = people actually joining and participating in the program
C. Out of scope
a. We want to show the start of a fitness program -> fewer absent people. We already know the people who exercise take the fewest sick days. If you drive on a smaller subset of this group and what they do after work, it doesn’t impact the rate at which the overall sample (people who workout and don’t workout at companies) will be absent or not.
D. Out of scope; irrelevant 3rd factor
a. Productivity is like the sleeping factor; irrelevant
E. Out of scope; irrelevant 3rd factor
a. Doesn’t matter if they take a lunch break or not. As long as they’re at work, they’re not absent. This is the point of the conclusion.
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
Flaw type: Unjustified assumption.

Author assumes willingness of the people to participate in the fitness program, i.e, For people to do something, they have to be able to do it, and they have to want to. Both skill and will are necessary.

Option B weakens by showing that people do not have the willingness to cooperate.
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
Is it the correct approach if I choose my AO as the one which talks about people who are absent or a possibility where people will not join the club? GMATNinja
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hours each week, the fewer sick days they take. Even employees who exercise only once a week during working hours take less sick time than those who do not exercise. Therefore, if companies started fitness programs, the absentee rate in those companies would decrease significantly.

A gap that is evident is assuming that employees would attend the fitness programs.

(A) Employees who exercise during working hours occasionally fall asleep for short periods of time after they exercise - Our concern is regarding the relationship between fitness programs and the absentee rate. This option suggests the behavior of employees post exercising during working hours - Reject.

(B) Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or join a cooperate fitness program - Perfect. If employees who are frequently absent (probably contributing to the absentee rate) are least likely to join the cooperate fitness program, then absentee rate would not decrease SIGNIFICANTLY. Maybe the other employees who attend the cooperate fitness program contribute to some decrease in the absentee rate.

(C) Employees who exercise only once a week in their company's fitness program usually also exercise after work - Good for the employees! Employees who exercise (in company's fitness program) once a week would take less sick time as compared to those who do not exercise. In addition to this exercise, they exercise after work as well. This just strengthens the point the author is trying to make. Reject.

(D) Employees who exercise in their company's fitness program use their working time no more productively than those who do not exercise - Relationship between company's fitness program and absentee rate is our concern. Whether the company's fitness program impacts the productivity of employees doesn't help! - Reject

(E) Employees who exercise during working hour take slightly longer lunch breaks than employees who do not exercise - Post exercise, they would be hungry! Just like A) and C), this mentions a behavior of employees that we are not concerned about - Reject
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
Expert Reply
revamoghe wrote:
Is it the correct approach if I choose my AO as the one which talks about people who are absent or a possibility where people will not join the club? GMATNinja



Hey revamoghe,


You need to have a complete understanding of what the argument is about.

Think like this, the purpose is to significantly reduce absenteeism. Now, the passage provides a plan to achieve this goal - The plan is to introduce fitness programs in companies.

Reason - Employees who take time to exercise during work hours every week, take fewer leaves.


What would weaken this argument?

What if people are reluctant to join the fitness program in the first place, then the plan fails to achieve its goal.


Hope this helps.
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
I think there's a loophole in the question. Experts I would like if you give your opinion on this @bunuel,@bb

What if they take leaves for another reasons?
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
This passage is a classic case of are you paying attention to the argument because the incorrect choices stand out like a sore thumb. The focus here is on 'absentee rate' and the conclusion is that companies would see such a rate decrease significantly if employees exercised once a week.

The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hours each week, the fewer sick days they take. Even employees who exercise only once a week during working hours take less sick time than those who do not exercise. Therefore, if companies started fitness programs, the absentee rate in those companies would decrease significantly.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

(A) Employees who exercise during working hours occasionally fall asleep for short periods of time after they exercise. X

Irrelevant. If this is meant to be a reflection of threats to productivity, then such productivity is nevertheless not what we are concerned with.

(B) Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or join a cooperate fitness program. Correct

(C) Employees who exercise only once a week in their company's fitness program usually also exercise after work. X

Irrelevant. What happens to employees post-work is neither here nor there.

(D) Employees who exercise in their company's fitness program use their working time no more productively than those who do not exercise. X

This choice argues against exercise, suggesting that it might not have any productivity benefits. Again, that's not the focus!

(E) Employees who exercise during working hour take slightly longer lunch breaks than employees who do not exercise. X

Same idea as D).
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hours each week, the fewer sick days they take. Even employees who exercise only once a week during working hours take less sick time than those who do not exercise. Therefore, if companies started fitness programs, the absentee rate in those companies would decrease significantly.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously weakens the argument above?

Question type: Weaken the argument
POA:
1. Find Conclusion
2. See premise again
3. Remove all answer options which are not connected to the conclusion (Let's call them Out of scope, OS)
4. Evaluate XY pair

In CR Questions, words that one typically assumes to be harmless are the ones that can break or make the answer choice. Let me highlight some words which should be noticed to create a meaning of the stimulus.

The more FREQUENTLY employees take time to exercise DURING WORKING HOURS each week, the fewer SICK DAYS they take. Even employees who exercise only once a week during working hours take less SICK TIME than those who do not exercise. Therefore, if companies started fitness programs, the absentee rate in those companies would decrease SIGNIFICANTLY.

I am highlighting these words as they are extremely important for our understanding of the meaning.
A typical error in such questions is when someone assumes the meaning.

E.g. The passage has outrightly stated that people who exercise take fewer sick days in office. We typically create biases basis our lives and could make the error of reading this as 'people who exercise are less likely to fall sick'. This is different that taking sick days.

Significantly is a strong effect that the author is trying to suggest

During working hours could be read as during work week

All of these are traps and can change the meaning of the passage.


Argument:
People who exercise frequently during working hours or even once in a work week are less likely to take sick days when compared with people who do not exercise
Conclusion: Starting fitness program = Reducing absentee rate significantly.

Let's look at answer choices and in the first cycle remove all which are not related to our conclusion.

(A) Employees who exercise during working hours occasionally fall asleep for short periods of time after they exercise.
OS: Our conclusion is about reducing absentee rate, not productivity in office. Remove

(B) Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or join a cooperate fitness program.
Okay, let's keep it for now. It talks about absenteeism and fitness programs.

(C) Employees who exercise only once a week in their company's fitness program usually also exercise after work.
OS: We are not interested in what he does out of office, how is this related to our conclusion

(D) Employees who exercise in their company's fitness program use their working time no more productively than those who do not exercise.
OS: Again, we are not interested in productivity during work. Just about reducing absenteeism

(E) Employees who exercise during working hour take slightly longer lunch breaks than employees who do not exercise.
OS: This is again talking about productivity. Our conclusion talks about reducing absenteeism


By negation, we can see B is the right option. But let's still look at B once to understand the logic

(B) Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or join a cooperate fitness program.

This works as it gives an alternate situation to what the author has considered a Cause and effect statement. The author states people work out (cause), hence take less offs (effect)
This answer says that those people who have contributed most to absenteeism will not join this fitness program. If they don't join, we will not see the desired result as the author suggested.

- Importance of the word 'significant'.
While concluding the author doesn't say that there will be some decrease in absenteeism or that the rate of absenteeism is surely to reduce. Had the author mentioned this we could not have negated the conclusion with our shortlisted answer.

Since, even if people who are frequently absent don't participate, even a small change in absenteeism will prove the author to be correct. It is only because the conclusion mentions 'significant change' that we can safely say our answer is the right answer.
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
I think the correct answer is C.

B talks about Employees who are frequently absent are the least likely to cooperate with or join a cooperate fitness program. The employess who are frequently absent may be doing this because of their sickness. Hence if the fitness program is started they will fall less sick. If this option is to make true then it implies the absent employees are absent because of some other reason and a fitness program which would help to keep them fit, wont motivate much.

Now C talks about that who exercise only once a week in their company's fitness program usually also exercise after work. That means nothing much improvement in their health could be achieved as they are already doing things outside office works and hence such program wont reduce the absenteesm significantly.

Please discuss.
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Re: The more frequently employees take time to exercise during working hou [#permalink]
The reasoning is that if the employees who are frequently absent, those whom the program primarily targets, are least likely to join the fitness program, then the overall effect of the program on absenteeism would be significantly less than suggested in the argument. This is because the people who need it most are not using it.

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