Human beings are accustomed to being active and awake during the day, and asleep and rest at night. Since we live in a society which is organised predominantly along daytime activity, therefore working in the night shift may deeply disrupt our social and family life. It is also a well-known fact that night shift causes fatigue and circadian disruption. The basic manifestation of fatigue and circadian rhythm has been linked to health and safety problems, involving decrements in psychophysical and physiological functions, plus subjective complaints. In this context quantitative relationships between shift work and circadian rhythm need to be assessed to explore suitable time schedule, and to minimise sleep depth and fatigue. There is also a great need to discuss circadian disruption, sleepiness and the increasing cost of work related illness among night workers. In this regard, some aspects of fatigue and circadian disruption caused from night shift work are revealed in this paper aiming to increase workers' health, safety and well being as well as productivity. Light / dark cycle and social stimuli issues acting on the circadian timing systems are also explored to solicit opinions and discussion on the controversy of night work. Suggestions are therefore likewise given to enhance workers' adaptation to night shift and synchronization process.
The purpose of this investigation was to clarify the characteristics of body temperature regulation in paraplegics due to spinal cord injury (SCI) during an arm cranking exercise in a hot environment. Twelve paraplegics with lesions located between Th3 and L1,2 and seven able-bodied subjects (AB) participated in this study. The subjects were exposed to a hot (33°C) or a moderate temperature (25°C) environment for one hour and during the last 10 min of the exposure, the subjects performed arm cranking exercises at an exercise intensity of 40 W. The skin temperatures at the chest, the upper arm, the thigh and the calf, the tympanic membrane temperature (Tty), and the skin blood flow of the thigh (SBFT) were continuously monitored during the experiment. Although no systematical variation was found in the Tty at 25°C, the Tty at 33°C in paraplegics during exercise was significantly greater than that at rest (P<0.01), which indicated a pronounced heat stress for paraplegics at 33°C. SBFT of paraplegics with high lesions of the SCI remained unchanged during the experiment at 25°C and 33°C, while paraplegics with low lesions in this study showed consecutive increases in SBFT during exercise in both environmental conditions similar to AB. The increased core temperature in paraplegics with high lesions was considered to be due to a lack of sweat response and vasomotor activity in the paralyzed area. On the basis of the findings in this study, it can be suggested that high core temperature without any increment of SBFT may be characterized as body heat balance of paraplegics with high lesions during exercise in a hot environment.
The primary purpose of this study was to contrast the effects of two short-duration exercises on mood changes. A secondary goal was to examine the relationship between pre-exercise and post-exercise mood states. The subjects were 15 healthy male graduate students. They were involved in a within-subject design in which each individual completed two trials of running on a treadmill, one trial for 10 minutes and the other for 15 minutes. The Mood Checklist Short-form 1 (MCL-S1) used in the present study represents the participants' mood states before, during, and after exercise. This questionnaire has three sub-scales measuring (a) pleasantness, (b) relaxation, and (c) anxiety. Participants ran on a treadmill for the assigned time at a self-selected intensity after being told to run at a rate that felt good and was not painful. ANOVA results showed that both of the short bouts of exercise affected the subjects' mood, because the main effect of time spent exercising was observed in all sub-scales of the MCL-S1 and there were no significant differences in trial-by-time interaction. In addition to these results, there was a significant correlation between the two trial lengths in the amount of pleasantness and the amount of anxiety felt at post-exercise. There were moderate differences in the effect size (ES) for pre- and post-exercise pleasantness and anxiety levels. These results revealed similar patterns of change. It seems reasonable to conclude, based on this study, that exercise between 10 and 15 minutes results in similar psychological benefits for the person exercising.
Using footwear often becomes troublesome and creates many problems. Most of these problems are associated with the wearing of ill-fitting footwear, as it leads to biomechanical imbalance and ultimately give rise to different foot problems. In the present investigation different foot problems, viz., discomfort, pain and other hazards related to the use of footwear have been evaluated and attempts have been made to study different foot dimensions of men and women that are related to the design of footwear. For the present study different foot dimensions of both right and left feet of the subjects were measured on 300 Bengalee (Indian) subjects having the age range of 20-35 years. The subjects reported that they had got discomfort, pain, blister and corn due to using different footwear. It was noted that the occurrence of these problems in right foot was greater than that in left foot. There was no significant correlation between foot troubles and type of footwear. Results also showed that there was no significant difference in most of the foot dimensions between left foot and right foot. However, significant difference (P<0.001) in all foot dimensions was observed between male and female subjects. Correlation coefficient among different foot dimensions has also been evaluated and it was noted that foot length was highly correlated with stature and foot volume, particularly in left foot. Footwear should be made according to the foot dimensions of the user population. The database collected from the Bengalee (Indian) population may be a helpful guide for manufacturing different footwear.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate disuse atrophy of skeletal muscle using a hind-limb suspension model, with special reference to energy metabolism. Twenty-four Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: control group (C), hind-limb suspended for 3 days (HS-3), for 7 days (HS-7) and for 14 days (HS-14). The gastrocnemius-plantaris-soleus (GPS) muscles in each group were subjected to the following measurements. After a 2-min rest, contraction of the GPS muscles was induced by electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve at 0.25 Hz for 10 min, then the frequency was increased to 0.5 and 1.0 Hz every 10 min. During the stimulation, twitch forces were recorded by a strain gauge, and 31P-MRS was performed simultaneously. Maximum tension was measured at the muscle contraction induced at 0.25 Hz; the wet weight of the whole and each muscle in the GPS muscles was also measured. From the 31P-MR spectra during muscle contraction, the oxidative capacity was calculated and compared among the groups. The weights of the whole GPS muscles in C, HS-3, HS-7 and HS-14, were 2.66 ± 0.09, 2.39 ± 0.21, 2.34 ± 0.21 and 2.18 ± 0.14 (g) respectively. Thus, the muscle mass significantly decreased with time (p<0.05). Among the GPS muscles, the decrease in weight of the soleus muscle was especially remarkable; in the HS-14 group its weight decreased to 60% of that in the C group. We evaluated maximum tension and oxidative capacity as the muscle function. The maximum tensions in C, HS-3, HS-7 and HS-14 were 519 ± 43, 446 ± 66, 450 ± 23 and 465 ± 29 (g), respectively. This was significantly greater in the C group than in any other groups, however there were no significant differences among the three HS groups. The oxidative capacity during muscle contraction in the C group was higher than in any HS group and it did not further decrease even if the suspension of the limbs was prolonged beyond 3 days. The present study showed that in disuse atrophy, muscle mass and muscle function did not change simultaneously. Thus, it is necessary to develop countermeasures to prevent muscle atrophy and muscle function deterioration independently.