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The stress of hours of work.

Colligan MJ; Tepas DI
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1986 Nov; 47(11):686-695
Current findings on shiftwork as it affects individual safety and health were reviewed; some strategies being proposed to facilitate worker adjustment to shiftwork were discussed. Some preliminary findings with respect to worker acceptance of alternate work schedules, specifically the extended or 12 hour workday, were examined. Shiftwork has been found to produce quantitative and qualitative changes in sleeping patterns, related to feelings of fatigue or lethargy. Studies have indicated that shift work and nightwork in particular, affects sleep patterns, results in an increased incidence of gastrointestinal disorders, and may affect existing health problems. Evidence suggests that some physiological and psychological types adjust to night work more easily than others. Individuals with lower amplitudes in their normal circadian temperature rhythms showed an easier adjustment to shiftwork. Adjustment is more difficult for older workers. Adaptation may have psychological aspects as well as physical ones. Use of the compressed work week schedule has increased, and is expected to continue to increase. With the longer workday, there is a possibility of increases in fatigue and impairment of individual judgment and psychophysical functioning. According to the authors, there is little evidence linking compressed work weeks to accidents. Issues such as prolonged exposures to physical or chemical hazards, and the complications associated with moonlighting and secondary employment require further research.
NIOSH-Author; Ergonomics; Job-stress; Physical-stress; Psychological-stress; Circadian-rhythms; Health-hazards; Gastrointestinal-system-disorders; Sleep-deprivation
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Journal Article
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American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division