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Building-site camps and extended work hours : A two-week monitoring of self-reported physical exertion, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness

Persson, Roger LU ; Helene Garde, Anne; Schibye, Bente and Ørbaek, Palle LU (2006) In Chronobiology International 23(6). p.45-1329
Abstract

Large-scale construction work often requires people to work longer daily hours and more than the ordinary five days in a row. In order to minimize transportation times and optimize the use of personnel, workers are sometimes asked to live in temporary building-site camps in the proximity of the work site. However, little is known about the biological and psychological effects of this experience. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether exposure to long work hours and extended workweeks while living in building-site camps in between work shifts was associated with a build-up of increased complaints of poor sleep, daytime sleepiness, physical exertion, and fatigue across a two-week work cycle. Two groups of... (More)

Large-scale construction work often requires people to work longer daily hours and more than the ordinary five days in a row. In order to minimize transportation times and optimize the use of personnel, workers are sometimes asked to live in temporary building-site camps in the proximity of the work site. However, little is known about the biological and psychological effects of this experience. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether exposure to long work hours and extended workweeks while living in building-site camps in between work shifts was associated with a build-up of increased complaints of poor sleep, daytime sleepiness, physical exertion, and fatigue across a two-week work cycle. Two groups of construction workers were examined. The camp group of 13 participants (mean age: 42+/-11 S.D. yrs) lived in building-site camps and worked extended hours (between 07:00 and 18:00 h) and extended workweeks (six days in a row, one day off, five days in a row, nine days off). The home group of 16 participants (mean age 40+/-9 yrs) worked ordinary hours between 07:00 and 15:00 h and returned home after each workday. Self-ratings of daytime sleepiness (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale), physical exertion (Borg CR-10), and mood were obtained six or seven times daily during two workweeks. Fatigue ratings were obtained once daily in the evening, and ratings of sleep disturbances were obtained once daily in the morning with the Karolinska Sleep Diary. Data were evaluated in a repeated measures design. The results showed that both groups reported a similar level of daytime sleepiness, physical exertion, and mood across workdays and time points within a workday (all three-way interactions had p>0.898). Although the home group reported earlier wake-up times, the pattern of sleep disturbance ratings across the workdays did not differ between the groups. Both groups reported few sleep disturbances and good mood. However, the camp group reported higher physical exertion already at the start of work and showed a more gentle increase in ratings during the work shift and a smaller decline between the end of work and bedtime. The camp group also reported higher fatigue scores than the home group. However, none of the groups showed signs of increasing ratings in the progress of the two workweeks. For both groups, the ratings of daytime sleepiness formed a U-shaped pattern, with the highest scores at awakening and at bedtime. Yet, the camp group reported higher daytime sleepiness than the home group at lunch break and at the second break in the afternoon. In conclusion, there were no signs of fatigue build-up or accumulation of daytime sleepiness, physical exertion, or sleep disturbances in either group. Despite the fact that the camp group showed some signs of having trouble in recuperating in between work shifts, as indicated by the higher physical exertion ratings at the start of work, higher fatigue scores, and higher daytime sleepiness, the results constitute no real foundation for altering the camp group's current work schedule and living arrangements.

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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Adult, Circadian Rhythm, Employment, Fatigue, Humans, Middle Aged, Physical Exertion, Sleep, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm, Sleep Stages, Sleep Wake Disorders, Time Factors, Wakefulness, Work, Work Schedule Tolerance
in
Chronobiology International
volume
23
issue
6
pages
17 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • Scopus:33845963601
ISSN
0742-0528
DOI
10.1080/07420520601058021
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
a7299f5f-7ef2-4ea8-ae29-3ca560423131
date added to LUP
2016-04-22 17:49:01
date last changed
2016-10-13 05:06:54
@misc{a7299f5f-7ef2-4ea8-ae29-3ca560423131,
  abstract     = {<p>Large-scale construction work often requires people to work longer daily hours and more than the ordinary five days in a row. In order to minimize transportation times and optimize the use of personnel, workers are sometimes asked to live in temporary building-site camps in the proximity of the work site. However, little is known about the biological and psychological effects of this experience. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether exposure to long work hours and extended workweeks while living in building-site camps in between work shifts was associated with a build-up of increased complaints of poor sleep, daytime sleepiness, physical exertion, and fatigue across a two-week work cycle. Two groups of construction workers were examined. The camp group of 13 participants (mean age: 42+/-11 S.D. yrs) lived in building-site camps and worked extended hours (between 07:00 and 18:00 h) and extended workweeks (six days in a row, one day off, five days in a row, nine days off). The home group of 16 participants (mean age 40+/-9 yrs) worked ordinary hours between 07:00 and 15:00 h and returned home after each workday. Self-ratings of daytime sleepiness (Karolinska Sleepiness Scale), physical exertion (Borg CR-10), and mood were obtained six or seven times daily during two workweeks. Fatigue ratings were obtained once daily in the evening, and ratings of sleep disturbances were obtained once daily in the morning with the Karolinska Sleep Diary. Data were evaluated in a repeated measures design. The results showed that both groups reported a similar level of daytime sleepiness, physical exertion, and mood across workdays and time points within a workday (all three-way interactions had p&gt;0.898). Although the home group reported earlier wake-up times, the pattern of sleep disturbance ratings across the workdays did not differ between the groups. Both groups reported few sleep disturbances and good mood. However, the camp group reported higher physical exertion already at the start of work and showed a more gentle increase in ratings during the work shift and a smaller decline between the end of work and bedtime. The camp group also reported higher fatigue scores than the home group. However, none of the groups showed signs of increasing ratings in the progress of the two workweeks. For both groups, the ratings of daytime sleepiness formed a U-shaped pattern, with the highest scores at awakening and at bedtime. Yet, the camp group reported higher daytime sleepiness than the home group at lunch break and at the second break in the afternoon. In conclusion, there were no signs of fatigue build-up or accumulation of daytime sleepiness, physical exertion, or sleep disturbances in either group. Despite the fact that the camp group showed some signs of having trouble in recuperating in between work shifts, as indicated by the higher physical exertion ratings at the start of work, higher fatigue scores, and higher daytime sleepiness, the results constitute no real foundation for altering the camp group's current work schedule and living arrangements.</p>},
  author       = {Persson, Roger and Helene Garde, Anne and Schibye, Bente and Ørbaek, Palle},
  issn         = {0742-0528},
  keyword      = {Adult,Circadian Rhythm,Employment,Fatigue,Humans,Middle Aged,Physical Exertion,Sleep,Sleep Deprivation,Sleep Disorders, Circadian Rhythm,Sleep Stages,Sleep Wake Disorders,Time Factors,Wakefulness,Work,Work Schedule Tolerance},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {45--1329},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x9f21ae8)},
  series       = {Chronobiology International},
  title        = {Building-site camps and extended work hours : A two-week monitoring of self-reported physical exertion, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07420520601058021},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2006},
}