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In South Korea, Stressed Out Workers Are Sending Themselves to Fake Prison

More than 2,000 people have opted to give it a try.


What lengths would you go to really, truly unplug?


In Hongcheon, South Korea, there is a facility called Prison Inside Me, which is essentially a faux prison where you can pay $90 to spend 24 hours in lockdown. Why? The goal of the project is to help give South Koreans, who work an average of 2,024 hours a month, a respite from stress.

The project was co-founded in 2013 by a woman named Noh Ji-Hyang who said she got the idea from her husband, a lawyer who worked upwards of 100 hours a week and told her that the idea of spending a week in solitary confinement to rest up sounded appealing.

Related: South Korea Is Turning Off PCs to Stop People Working Late

Working extreme hours is such a prevalent cultural practice that the South Korean government capped the work week at 52 hours this summer.

Noh’s husband wasn’t the only one craving some me time in lockdown.In five years, more than 2,000 people have participated in Prison Inside Me, leaving their work and devices behind for the promise of solitude.

According to a report from Reuters, when you step into Prison Inside Me, you must adhere to a strict set of rules that includes not speaking with any of the other clients and relinquishing any mobile devices and even clocks. You change into a blue prison uniform, you sleep on the floor of a cell that contains a yoga mat, pen and notebook, a tea set and toilet. Nothing else, not even a mirror.

“After a stay in the prison, people say, ‘This is not a prison, the real prison is where we return to,’” Noh told Reuters.

It’s certainly one way to give yourself a break. Would you give something like this a try when you when you need to de-stress?

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