What is Fatigue?
Many symptoms of fatigue include exhaustion, sleepiness, weariness, and low energy. There are multiple factors that can cause an individual to experience fatigue including shift schedule, stress, long commutes, work environment, physical tasks, and the most obvious being lack of sleep. Sleep loss can also create a habit of not getting the proper rest needed to be productive on the job. Sleep is as necessary as food and water, it is a biological need.
Being fatigued at work can cause many issues including being less productive, mistakes, injuries, and missing work. It is important to take precautions to combat fatigue for improved productivity and a safer work environment.
- 65% of workers experience fatigue on the job.
- 70% of employees who work in safety-critical industries are tired at work.
- 90% of employers reported being negatively impacted by fatigue.
- 32% of employers report injuries and near misses due to fatigue.
Ways to Fight Fatigue
Here are a few ways to avoid fatigue and combat symptoms for staying alert during the work day.
1. Snack Healthy
The food we eat during the day can be a big part of staying alert or avoiding the feeling of being sluggish. There are many healthy food options that take less energy to digest rather than sugar-based beverages or junk food. It is also important to start every day with a well-balanced breakfast and a light protein-based lunch.
Here are some snacks for work to keep you energized:
- Trail-mix or nuts
- Fruits (apples, grapes, and bananas)
- Vegetables (carrots, celery, and broccoli)
- Beef jerky
- Turkey Sandwich
- Protein bar
You may think exercise will just make you tired, but physical activity will help oxygen-rich blood flow throughout the body. Exercising also creates healthy results such as weight-loss, increased endurance, and giving you more energy throughout the day. After waking up in the morning, stretching or yoga is good way to improve blood flow and will have a revitalizing effect on the mind.
3. Stay Hydrated
It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated. Dehydration is a leading cause of fatigue and makes it difficult to focus and stay productive/alert during the day.
4. Consistent Sleep Schedule
It is a good habit to keep a consistent sleep schedule to ensure your body is getting the appropriate amount of rest. Getting the same amount of sleep each night can help the body regulate and balance its energy levels. Most adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep each night to be considered healthy. It is also important to stay away from stimulants like caffeine, television, video games, and other bright screens before bed because these stimulants can cause erratic sleep patterns. Creating a consistent sleep pattern will allow your body to re-energize helping you avoid fatigue and to stay alert during the day.
It is best to stay away from caffeine as much as possible because it can disrupt your daily habits. Caffeine can also cause energy crashes hours after consumption leading to extreme fatigue. If you decide to consume a caffeine supplement it is better to use them early in the morning, before work, or at lunch to prepare for when the energy boost wears off.
6. Enjoy Work
Not all jobs are perfect and it can be difficult to enjoy each element of your job. Job satisfaction or being bored at work can create a negative mindset that can contribute to fatigue. There are many options to making work more enjoyable such as listening to music, upgrading your tools, frequent breaks, fresh air, short walks, building friendships, etc.
Changing your daily habits can be difficult but learning new and better habits can be beneficial to your health and success. If you are feeling exhausted, sleepy, weary, and don’t have enough energy to complete a task then it might be beneficial to reevaluate your daily habits and change things up.