Article ID: B13005
Objective: To examine the factors related to fatigue accumulation by irregular shift workers after the late-night shift. Method: We studied employees of a company in the transportation industry in Fukushima prefecture. The company transports passengers, and many employees, including the crew, engage in irregular shift work. We performed the investigation by using a self-administered questionnaire which was sent to 89 employees in October, 2011. Of the 89 who were given the survey, 84 replied, and 52 of those employees had worked the late-night shift (straddling midnight) at least once during September. In answer to the question “How long does it take you to recover after working the late-night-shift?” choices were “I don’t feel tired”, “I recover the next day”, “I recover in two or three days”, and “It takes more than three days”. We classified the choices into two groups of: 1) “I don’t feel tired” and “I recover the next day”, and 2) “I recover in two or three days” and “It takes more than three days”. Other questions were asked about age, BMI, weekday average duration of sleep, whether or not a nap was taken before the late-night shift, risk of lifestyle-related diseases (hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes), awareness of life stress accumulation, and exercise habits. Results: Thirty-two employees answered that they recovered from the late-night shift by the next day, whereas 20 employees answered that it took more than 2 days to recover after the late-night-shift. The group who answered that recovery time after the late-night shift took more than 2 days significantly (p=0.035) felt that their stress management was insufficient. Age, BMI, weekday average duration of sleep, whether or not a nap was taken before the late-night shifts, risk of lifestyle-related diseases, and exercise habits showed no significant association with fatigue accumulation. The group who answered that their stress management was insufficient significantly chose liquor (p=0.045) and cigarettes (p=0.030) for stress reduction. Discussion: In this study, a relationship was recognized between degree of awareness of daily stress relief and fatigue recovery period. In addition, various means of stress relief had different effects, suggesting the need for individualized mental health care.