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Guidelines for shiftworkers : trials and errors

Wedderbern, Alexander and Scholarios, Dora (1993) Guidelines for shiftworkers : trials and errors. Ergonomics, 36 (1-3). pp. 211-217. ISSN 0014-0139

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Abstract

86 guidelines for shiftworkers were assembled by a team of European experts and published as the Bulletin of Shiftwork Topics No. 3. Before publication, 24 of the personally directed guidelines were tested against the normal actions of two groups of mixed sex industrial 3-shift continuous workers (n = 120). Six of the guidelines were endorsed as their practice by a majority of both groups; six were opposed by a majority of both groups; and twelve were intermediate. The six that were opposed are closely examined. Half of them fall into specific remedies for sleep problems, that were more abruptly phrased in the questionnaire than in the guidelines. The other three are concerned with eating and drinking: breaking your sleep to join in a family meal is only a gentle suggestion in the guidelines, and not a sensible general recommendation for day-sleepers; avoiding fatty foods may only be appropriate if you have digestive problems; and avoiding coffee and tea in the last two hours before sleep appears to oppose and lose out to work and home pressures. An evaluated intervention is required to check these points.