Occupational Fatigue: New Insights on Causes and Consequences

Posted Oct 25, 2016

Close

E-mail Article

Complete form to e-mail article…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

Separate multiple recipients with a comma

Close

Sign-Up For Newsletters

Complete this form to sign-up for newsletters…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

 

Sleep loss and poor working conditions are the most important causes of occupational fatigue—which can impair mental and physical performance with the potential for serious errors and injuries, reports a review and update in the October 2016 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Matthew Hallowell, PhD, and colleagues of University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed previous research to develop a "comprehensive systems model" of the interrelated causes and consequences of occupational fatigue. Fatigue, which may be acute or chronic, is defined as "a decreased ability to perform activities at the desired level due to lassitude or exhaustion of mental and/or physical strength."

Based on available data, the "major drivers" of fatigue were sleep deprivation and factors in the work environment—such as noise, vibration, and temperature. These causes could all interact with other factors, such as increased work load and long work hours.

The most significant consequences of fatigue were short-term degradation in cognitive (thinking) and physical functioning. Illnesses, human error, and injuries also occurred to a lesser extent. Evidence suggested that some consequences of fatigue can make other outcomes worse, reinforcing fatigue and leading to a "downward cycle."

Occupational fatigue affects more than 20 percent of the U.S. working population, resulting in more than $136 billion in lost productivity and health care costs each year. Unfortunately, the problem of fatigue may draw attention only after major accidents—the researchers cite the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Exxon Valdez disasters.

Although there has been considerable research on occupational fatigue, fewer studies have been done to replicate and validate those findings. Dr. Hallowell and colleagues hope their model will help occupational health professionals and researchers to better understand the interrelated causes and consequence of fatigue. They point to some key areas for further research, including the association between work relationships and fatigue.

Source: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, www.acoem.org/tired.aspx

Sleep loss and poor working conditions are the most important causes of occupational fatigue—which can impair mental and physical performance with the potential for serious errors and injuries, reports a review and update in the October 2016 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Matthew Hallowell, PhD, and colleagues of University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed previous research to develop a "comprehensive systems model" of the interrelated causes and consequences of occupational fatigue. Fatigue, which may be acute or chronic, is defined as "a decreased ability to perform activities at the desired level due to lassitude or exhaustion of mental and/or physical strength."

Based on available data, the "major drivers" of fatigue were sleep deprivation and factors in the work environment—such as noise, vibration, and temperature. These causes could all interact with other factors, such as increased work load and long work hours.

The most significant consequences of fatigue were short-term degradation in cognitive (thinking) and physical functioning. Illnesses, human error, and injuries also occurred to a lesser extent. Evidence suggested that some consequences of fatigue can make other outcomes worse, reinforcing fatigue and leading to a "downward cycle."

Occupational fatigue affects more than 20 percent of the U.S. working population, resulting in more than $136 billion in lost productivity and health care costs each year. Unfortunately, the problem of fatigue may draw attention only after major accidents—the researchers cite the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Exxon Valdez disasters.

Although there has been considerable research on occupational fatigue, fewer studies have been done to replicate and validate those findings. Dr. Hallowell and colleagues hope their model will help occupational health professionals and researchers to better understand the interrelated causes and consequence of fatigue. They point to some key areas for further research, including the association between work relationships and fatigue.

Source: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, www.acoem.org/tired.aspx

Sleep loss and poor working conditions are the most important causes of occupational fatigue—which can impair mental and physical performance with the potential for serious errors and injuries, reports a review and update in the October 2016 Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Matthew Hallowell, PhD, and colleagues of University of Colorado at Boulder analyzed previous research to develop a "comprehensive systems model" of the interrelated causes and consequences of occupational fatigue. Fatigue, which may be acute or chronic, is defined as "a decreased ability to perform activities at the desired level due to lassitude or exhaustion of mental and/or physical strength."

Based on available data, the "major drivers" of fatigue were sleep deprivation and factors in the work environment—such as noise, vibration, and temperature. These causes could all interact with other factors, such as increased work load and long work hours.

The most significant consequences of fatigue were short-term degradation in cognitive (thinking) and physical functioning. Illnesses, human error, and injuries also occurred to a lesser extent. Evidence suggested that some consequences of fatigue can make other outcomes worse, reinforcing fatigue and leading to a "downward cycle."

Occupational fatigue affects more than 20 percent of the U.S. working population, resulting in more than $136 billion in lost productivity and health care costs each year. Unfortunately, the problem of fatigue may draw attention only after major accidents—the researchers cite the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Exxon Valdez disasters.

Although there has been considerable research on occupational fatigue, fewer studies have been done to replicate and validate those findings. Dr. Hallowell and colleagues hope their model will help occupational health professionals and researchers to better understand the interrelated causes and consequence of fatigue. They point to some key areas for further research, including the association between work relationships and fatigue.

Source: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, www.acoem.org/tired.aspx

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

Close

  • Useful Tools

    Select a tool below

© 2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.