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Work Health and Safety Blog

There's so much happening in the world of health & safety. Changes in legislation and requirements, changes in best practice, changes in ... you name it. Here's my take on making it simple. Simply Genius WHS - stop guessing... manage with confidence.

Fatigue equals stress – and it’s not just about “being tired”!

Maralyn Kastel - Friday, July 26, 2013

 It is important for employers and workers to understand the risks in the workplace and what you can take to promote and provide a safe working environment.  One aspect that is often overlooked is fatigue and it’s not just about getting a poor night’s sleep. Make sure you discuss how to minimise the effects of fatigue with your workers.

In many offices workers perform repetitive tasks sitting at computers.  How do you encourage regular rest and stretch periods along and other exercises to help maintain healthy working behaviour?

Sitting at a desk in front of a computer for hours at a time causes a strain on the back and neck and eye muscles, particularly if the ergonomics of the workstation are all the same.  We constantly see the same workstation set-up for all workers, including chairs, desks, computer positioning etc but how many people have body shapes that are “all the same”?

When deadlines, workloads and little or no physical activity collide, workers begin to feel signs of fatigue and stress.

Stress is a hazardous condition for many individuals.  Stress will adversely change biological, mental, and emotional functions. These changes include: heart disease; malaise; impaired faculties; and more. Stress leads to increases of cortisol and other endogenous hormones which in excess can contribute to heart disease, psychological dysfunction, an increased susceptibility to illness, an increased risk of strokes, and more.

The Journal of Applied Physiology performed an experiment to determine the effects of mental fatigue on a person's work performance. The results showed that persons who are fatigued have a reduced ability to perform successfully at work. 

To avoid fatigue and to reduce stress, introduce mini breaks which include exercise, and socialising help to encourage the body to react positively and control the responses of fatigue.

Fatigue relieving exercises include the head and neck stretch, shoulder roll, upper back stretch, wrist wave, and finger stretch. 

Don’t delay, do it today, and for more information contact us.

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