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Härmä MI, Ilmarinen J, Knauth P, et al. Physical training intervention in female shift workers: I. The effects of intervention on fitness, fatigue, sleep, and psychosomatic symptoms

Ergonomics (Impact Factor: 1.61). 02/1988; 31(1):39-50. DOI: 10.1080/00140138808966647
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A physical training intervention was carried out on 75 nurses and nursing aides working irregular shifts to determine the effects of such an intervention on health, sleep-wakefulness and adaptation to shiftwork. The study design and changes in physical fitness, fatigue, sleep and psychosomatic symptoms are examined. Training (T) and control (C) groups were built randomly from matched sets of subjects. Questionnaire, laboratory and field studies were done before and after a controlled physical training programme lasting four months. Maximal oxygen consumption and muscle strength increased and heart rates at rest and at work decreased significantly in the T but not in the C group. General fatique during the shift cycle, and fatigue during the night shifts were reduced, whereas fatigue during the evening shifts increased owing to the intervention. Sleep length increased slightly and musculoskeletal symptoms were reduced. The results suggest that moderate physical training increases the physical fitness of female shift workers, and reduces work-dependent fatigue and musculoskeletal symptoms.

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    • "This message is then followed by one of four randomly selected strategies for reducing feelings of sleepiness or fatigue and improving alertness during shiftwork: 1) If you can, take a short 20-30 minute nap on duty; 2) Try drinking a caffeinated beverage like coffee to stay awake; 3) Try doing some stretches or other exercise to stay alert; 4) Stay alert by talking to your partner when work is slow. We developed the intervention strategy messages based on prior research showing a positive impact on perceived sleepiness, fatigue, or alertness [5-13]. The SMS-enabled dialog and strategy messages were developed by study investigators and are hypothesized to have an impact on the behavioral determinants of an emergency worker’s intention to maintain alertness and vigilance during shiftwork. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Mental and physical fatigue while at work is common among emergency medical services (EMS) shift workers. Extended shifts (for example 24 hours) and excessive amounts of overtime work increase the likelihood of negative safety outcomes and pose a challenge for EMS fatigue-risk management. Text message-based interventions are a potentially high-impact, low-cost platform for sleep and fatigue assessment and distributing information to workers at risk of negative safety outcomes related to sleep behaviors and fatigue. Methods/Design We will conduct a pilot randomized trial with a convenience sample of adult EMS workers recruited from across the United States using a single study website. Participants will be allocated to one of two possible arms for a 90-day study period. The intervention arm will involve text message assessments of sleepiness, fatigue, and difficulty with concentration at the beginning, during, and end of scheduled shifts. Intervention subjects reporting high levels of sleepiness or fatigue will receive one of four randomly selected intervention messages promoting behavior change during shiftwork. Control subjects will receive assessment only text messages. We aim to determine the performance characteristics of a text messaging tool for the delivery of a sleep and fatigue intervention. We seek to determine if a text messaging program with tailored intervention messages is effective at reducing perceived sleepiness and/or fatigue among emergency medicine clinician shift workers. Additional aims include testing whether a theory-based behavioral intervention, delivered by text message, changes ‘alertness behaviors’. Discussion The SleepTrackTXT pilot trial could provide evidence of compliance and effectiveness that would support rapid widespread expansion in one of two forms: 1) a stand-alone program in the form of a tailored/individualized sleep monitoring and fatigue reduction support service for EMS workers; or 2) an add-on to a multi-component fatigue risk management program led and maintained by employers or by safety and risk management services. Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02063737, Registered on 10 January 2014
    Trials 06/2014; 15(1):244. DOI:10.1186/1745-6215-15-244 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    • "Higher levels of physical fitness allow people to adjust more quickly to changes in the sleep-wake cycle.29,64 "
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    ABSTRACT: Prolonged transmeridian air travel can impart a physical and emotional burden on athletes in jet lag and travel fatigue. Jet lag may negatively affect the performance of athletes. Descriptive review. A Medline search for articles relating to jet lag was performed (1990-present), as was a search relating to jet lag and athletes (1983-January, 2012). The results were reviewed for relevance. Eighty-nine sources were included in this descriptive review. Behavioral strategies are recommended over pharmacological strategies when traveling with athletes; pharmacological aides may be used on an individual basis. Strategic sleeping, timed exposure to bright light, and the use of melatonin are encouraged. There is strong evidence that mood and cognition are adversely affected by jet lag. Some measures of individual and team performance are adversely affected as well.
    05/2012; 4(3):211-6. DOI:10.1177/1941738112442340
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    • "Harrington (2001) identified improvements in recreational facilities as a factor that could potentially ameliorate shift-work problems in the short term. Furthermore, Harrington (2001) and Harma et al. (1982, 1988a) highlighted the importance of physical fitness and activity in helping workers reduce the problems associated with shift work. Whilst various studies have highlighted the problems associated with shift work and have sought to develop recreational/ leisure/physical activity recommendations to help alleviate such problems, few have addressed the implementation of practical coping strategies within an 'actual' working environment. "
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    ABSTRACT: A total of 13 to 14% of European and North American workers are involved in shift work. The present aim is to explore the relationships between coping strategies adopted by shift workers and their leisure-time energy expenditure. Twenty-four female and 71 male shift workers (mean +/- SD age: 37 +/- 9 years) completed an adapted version of the Standard Shift-work Index (SSI), together with a leisure-time physical activity questionnaire. Predictors of age, time spent in shift work, gender, marital status and the various shift-work coping indices were explored with step-wise multiple regression. Leisure-time energy expenditure over a 14-d period was entered as the outcome variable. Gender (beta = 7168.9 kJ/week, p = 0.023) and time spent in shift work (beta = 26.36 kJ/week, p = 0.051) were found to be predictors of energy expenditure, with the most experienced, male shift workers expending the most energy during leisure-time. Overall 'disengagement' coping scores from the SSI were positively related to leisure-time energy expenditure (beta = 956.27 kJ/week, p = 0.054). In males, disengagement of sleep problems (beta = -1078.1 kJ/week, p = 0.086) was found to be negatively correlated to energy expenditure, whereas disengagement of domestic-related problems was found to be positively related to energy expenditure (beta = 1961.92 kJ/week, p = 0.001). These relations were not found in female shift workers (p = 0.762). These data suggest that experienced male shift workers participate in the most leisure-time physical activity. These people 'disengage' more from their domestic-related problems, but less from their sleep-related problems. It is recommended that physical activity interventions for shift workers should be designed with careful consideration of individual domestic responsibilities and perceived disruption to sleep.
    Ergonomics 05/2009; 52(4):448-55. DOI:10.1080/00140130802707725 · 1.61 Impact Factor
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