The effects of changing the shift pattern from a full-day shift to a half-day shift before a subsequent night shift on sleep and subjective fatigue were investigated in 20 nurses working on the same ward of a public hospital. They participated in both conditions of the full-day shift and the half-day shift before a night shift each for one month. A total of 16 nurses (14 females and 2 males, mean age 37.4±8.4) completed daily work and sleep logs and subjective fatigue questionnaires during each shift condition. As a result, the nap taken before a night shift was significantly longer on the half-day shift condition than on the full-day shift condition (p<0.01). Subjective fatigue from the day shift start to the night shift end was significantly suppressed on the half-day shift condition in comparison with the full-day shift condition (p<0.001). However, when the effects of the prophylactic nap time of the full-day and the half-day shift conditions were compared between either one nap time or two nap times, subjective fatigue at the night shift did not significantly decrease in the studied shift conditions and nap times. Therefore, it became clear that although subjective fatigue was significantly suppressed on the half-day shift condition in comparison with the full-day shift condition, subjective fatigue of the night shift did not decrease by changing the length of the prophylactic nap time.
Purpose: To evaluate the effects of the physical movement restriction of able-bodied subjects incurred while descending on ramps by a wheelchair from a physiological, psychological, and behavioral perspective. Methods: The subjects included 19 healthy adults. Measurements of torque, electromyography, plantar pressure, and anxiety about the effectiveness of braking were performed while subjects braked repeatedly on a downhill slope. Their trunks were immobilized and their legs were lifted to restrict their movement. Results: In the absence of restrictions on movement, subjects braked while using the reactive force generated against the soles of the feet, by pressing their feet down on the footrest to maintain their trunk posture. When movement was restricted, subjects displayed increased elbow flexion while braking. Isometric contractions of the leg muscles were observed, as well as increased activity of the rectus abdominis. These were interpreted as compensatory reactions to the restrictions. Psychometric tests showed that anxiety about the effectiveness of braking and the ability to perform and maintain complete stop increased by the restrictions on movement. Conclusion: Although restrictions of physical movement caused compensatory actions, the significant increase in anxieties to braking effect suggests that the restrictions seems effective at simulating partly the experience of a disability to allow healthy subjects to appreciate the perspective of a wheelchair user.