In order to find out the work load of matrons under shift work in a special nursing home for the elderly (SNH), six healthy female matrons volunteered to participate in the present study. For each subject, care working time, heart rate, walking steps, estimated energy expenditure and working time in different postures were determined during day shift work (540 min) and night shift work (960 min). Although the time on duty, working and recess were significantly longer in night shift work than day shift work, the percentages of working and recess time to duty time were nearly the same regardless of shift work. The longest care work in each shift work was individual care of residents in the SNH. The maximum, minimum and mean heart rate and percentages to estimated maximal heart rate were similar in each shift work. Although total walking steps in night shift work were significantly larger than those in day shift work, steps per hour did not differ between them. The estimated total energy expenditure (kcal) was significantly higher in night shift work than in day shift work; however, the work intensity (kcal/kg/min) was significantly higher in day shift work. The longest length and larger percentage of working time were observed in standing posture in each shift work. These findings suggest that physical activity and energy expenditure of matrons under either shift work in the SNH seem to be high. Further studies are needed to clarify the work load of matrons engaged in SNH to formulate countermeasures.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health