Workplace fatigue is on the rise -- especially in manufacturing -- and its costing U.S. employers $130 billion a year in lost productivity due to injuries.
According to the American Society of Safety Professionals, more than half of U.S. manufacturing workers say they experience fatigue on the job, which not only hurts production, but can be dangerous or life-threatening.
“You might have a little back pain or injury from extended standing or heavy physical work that results in fatigue,” says Dr. Lora Cavuoto, the study’s lead author from the University of Buffalo. “You may also have slowed reaction time when fatigued which can lead to accidents.”
White-collar workers can become both mentally and physically fatigued too.
“In the office environment, one of the suggestions is every hour make sure you get up and go to the bathroom or just get out of your desk for a minute or two in order to reset,” she says.
Employers are encouraged to allow time for workers to rest throughout the day.
“Providing enough breaks for the body to recover and allowing for some variation in movement and posture to offload the demand to other parts of the body so that you’re not always loading the same muscles throughout the day,” says Dr. Cavuoto.
The study suggests wearable technology can help notify you when it's time for a break.