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Long workdays versus restdays: assessing fatigue and alertness with a portable performance battery.

Authors
Rosa-RR; Colligan-MJ
Source
Hum Factors 1988 Jun; 30(3):305-317
NIOSHTIC No.
00181666
Abstract
A study of fatigue resulting from long work days was conducted. Eleven male volunteers, 18 to 25 years old, recruited from a temporary clerical and office employment service constituted the study group. They performed a data entry job simulation task for two 5 day, 12 hours/day work weeks that were separated by 2 days of rest. The effects of fatigue on job performance were evaluated by recording the number of errors. The subjects were administered a test battery consisting of tests of cognitive ability, sensory acuity, perceptual motor function, motor skills, a self report scale designed to measure sleepiness, and a mood scale at periodic intervals during the workdays and restdays. Oral temperatures were also recorded at these times. Errors on the data entry task increased progressively throughout the work week, the largest increases occurring at 1300 hours on the fourth and fifth workdays. Subjective sleepiness and negative feelings increased and positive feelings decreased on workdays relative to workdays. Performance on all tests in the battery were impaired on workdays relative to restdays except for tests of time estimation and two point auditory discrimination. Oral temperature was significantly elevated on workdays compared to restdays. The maximum temperatures occurred at 1500 hours. No diurnal influences on work rest differences were detected. The authors conclude that the results of the data entry job simulation and the scores on the test battery show that the work regimen is fatiguing. Fatigue effects on task performance are more important than circadian effects. The test battery is potentially useful for detecting deficits in performance and alertness associated with hours spent at work.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; Occupational-health; Physiological-fatigue; Task-performance; Laboratory-testing; Psychophysiology; Mental-processes; Behavioral-testing; Circadian-rhythms
Contact
Roger R. Rosa, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH 45226
CODEN
HUFAA6
Publication Date
19880601
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
1988
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
3
ISSN
0018-7208
NIOSH Division
DBBS
Source Name
Human Factors
State
OH
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