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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Int J Env Health Eng 2017,  6:1

Relationship of duration of work exposure and feeling of subjective fatigue: A case study on jewelry manufacturing workers in India


Department of Design, n Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India

Date of Submission10-Feb-2015
Date of Acceptance29-May-2017
Date of Web Publication27-Sep-2017

Correspondence Address:
Urmi Ravindra Salve
Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati - 781 039, Assam
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijehe.ijehe_10_15

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  Abstract 


Aims: Fatigue can be defined in various conditions. In literature it has been defined and explored by various researches through different aspects. This study was conducted to establish the relationship between the duration of work exposure and feeling of subjective fatigue. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one jewelry manufacturing workers as study group and 27 students as control group participated with their signed informed consent. The daily diary method and feeling of subjective fatigue evaluation questionnaire were used as a tool in this study. Three categories of feeling of subjective fatigue were considered in this study. The study was conducted mainly in the middle of the week. The data regarding feeling of subjective fatigue were collected before starting of work and after completion of the work day. Results: The results showed that The time spent on the job by the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing was 670 min and were in four slots with the longest work period being 240 min. Sleeping time was found to be around 480 min. Conclusion: The study revealed that all three dimensions (general, mental, and physical) were affected by the whole day work exposure. Among three types of fatigues, general fatigue was observed at the beginning and end of the work shift.

Keywords: Fatigue, jewelry manufacturing, work exposure


How to cite this article:
Salve UR. Relationship of duration of work exposure and feeling of subjective fatigue: A case study on jewelry manufacturing workers in India. Int J Env Health Eng 2017;6:1

How to cite this URL:
Salve UR. Relationship of duration of work exposure and feeling of subjective fatigue: A case study on jewelry manufacturing workers in India. Int J Env Health Eng [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Dec 10];6:1. Available from: http://www.ijehe.org/text.asp?2017/6/1/1/215731




  Introduction Top


Fatigue is a state of a relatively temporary inability or decrease in ability or strong disinclination to respond to a situation. There are many factors or causes that affect the fatigue level. The major causes of fatigue are mental workload (both overload and under load), prolonged physical exertion, adverse environmental condition, monotony or boredom, and disturbance of sleep.[1] Bills in 1943, classified fatigue into subjective fatigue: feeling of discomfort and pain, objective fatigue: change in work output, and physiological fatigue: physiological change in muscle activation process.[2] The measurement of fatigue requires proper understanding of the nature of fatigue and essential instrumentation.[3] Literatures have shown that there is an effect on the feeling of subjective fatigue due to work exposure.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8]

The jewelry manufacturing process involves designing, casting, model making, setting (metal and stone), finishing, and polishing. At every step, this process requires higher concentration and quality checking, as any mistake at any step involves metal loss which is expensive. In India, gold jewelry manufacturing is mainly home based and work is mainly intensive-based work. As it is majorly unorganized sector the working hours are not under supervision of any legislative body. Therefore, they are prone to work according to the requirement of the market. In a pilot study, it was observed that the workers were engaged in jewelry manufacturing work for more than 14 h a day and 6 days a week. Therefore, it was expected that this long working hours may have an impact on the feeling of fatigue, health and well-being of the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing. Keeping the above fact in mind, a study was formulated with an objective to find out the effect of work exposure on feeling of subjective fatigue.


  Materials and Methods Top


Study population

Workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing (Group 1): 21 students participate in this part of the study.

Control group (Group 2): 27 students participated in this part of the study.

Study of habitual activities

Times spent on habitual activities were collected using modified diary method of Weiner and Lourie.[9]

Feeling of subjective fatigue

In the present study, the questionnaire developed by Research Committee on Industrial Fatigue of Japan Society for Occupational Health was used to assess the feeling of subjective fatigue. This questionnaire is widely in use to quantify the feeling of subjective fatigue.[6],[7],[8],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14] The questionnaire includes thirty expressions identifying the current subjective feeling of a surveyed individual and is divided into three parts, Part “A,” Part “B,” and Part “C” representing general (feeling of dull, drowsy and exhaustion and general feeling of incongruity in the body), mental [specific (sensory) and nervous (dysfunction of autonomic nervous systems)], and physical (purely mental, lacking of physical basis) fatigue, respectively.[15] Each part contains ten questions.

Responses obtained from the workers were expressed as percentage of feeling of fatigue using the follow in:





Experimental protocol

The daily habitual activities were recorded. The data were collected in the middle of the work week. Individuals were asked to respond to the questionnaire at the beginning of the work and after completion of a complete work day. The same protocol was followed for the control group individuals also. The responses were analyzed using χ2 test and Kruscal–Wallis one-way ANOVA.


  Results Top


Study of habitual activities

The results of the habitual activities are presented in [Table 1] and [Table 2].
Table 1: A representative daily habitual activity schedule of workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing

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Table 2: A representative daily habitual activity schedule of the control group

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The time spent on the job by the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing was 670 min and were in four slots with the longest work period being 240 min. Sleeping time was found to be around 480 min. Workers normally carried out their work for 6 days in a week; from Tuesday to Sunday, Monday was the rest day. The time spent on reading/study by the control group was also in four slots with the longest work period being 190 min with 10 min break in between. The study was carried out on work common work days, i.e. Tuesday to Friday.

Feeling of subjective fatigue

The result of the feeling of subjective fatigue (obtained from Fatigue questionnaire developed by Yoshitake, 1978, questionnaire is presented in Appendix I [Additional file 1]) were analyzed and presented in [Figure 1] and [Figure 2]. The results revealed that there were no significant changes in the feeling of subjective fatigue of all the dimensions along with the overall percentage of feeling of fatigue in the control group. On the contrary, the percentage of feeling of subjective fatigue increased significantly in all the dimensions along with the percentage of overall feeling of fatigue among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing.
Figure 1: Percentage of feeling of subjective fatigue among the control group

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Figure 2: Percentage of feeling of subjective fatigue among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing

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Identification of type of feeling of subjective fatigue

The type of feeling of subjective fatigue were tried to establish using Kruskal–Wallis one-way ANOVA. The results are presented in the [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9], [Table 10], [Table 11], [Table 12], [Table 13], [Table 14], along with [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8].
Figure 3: Plots of means section (feeling of subjective fatigue among jewelry manufacturing workers beginning of the work)

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Figure 4: Plots of means section (feeling of subjective fatigue among jewelry manufacturing workers after work)

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Figure 5: Plots of means section (feeling of subjective fatigue among control group beginning of the work)

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Figure 6: Plots of means section (feeling of subjective fatigue among control group after work)

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Figure 7: Comparison of general fatigue score between two groups (morning and night)

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Figure 8: Comparison of mental fatigue score between two groups (morning and night)

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Table 3: Test results (feeling of subjective fatigue among Group 1 beginning of the work)

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Table 4: Group detail (feeling of subjective fatigue among jewelry manufacturing workers at beginning of the work)

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Table 5: Means and effects section (feeling of subjective fatigue among jewelry manufacturing workers beginning of the work)

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Table 6: Test results (feeling of subjective fatigue among jewelry manufacturing workers after work)

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Table 7: Group detail (feeling of subjective fatigue among jewelry manufacturing workers after work)

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Table 8: Means and effects section (feeling of subjective fatigue among jewelry manufacturing workers after work)

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Table 9: Test results (feeling of subjective fatigue among control group beginning of the work)

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Table 10: Group detail (feeling of subjective fatigue among control group beginning of the work)

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Table 11: Means and effects section (feeling of subjective fatigue among control group beginning of the work)

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Table 12: Test results (feeling of subjective fatigue among control group after work)

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Table 13: Group detail (feeling of subjective fatigue among control group after work)

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Table 14: Means and effects section (feeling of subjective fatigue among control group after work)

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Kruskal–Wallis one-way ANOVA: The feeling of subjective fatigue score collected before starting of the work among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing.

The above result revealed that the type of feeling of subjective fatigue in the morning before starting of the work among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing was general in nature (A > C > B).

Kruskal–Wallis one-way ANOVA: The feeling of subjective fatigue score collected after the work among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing.

The above result revealed the similar trend as observed before starting of the work. Therefore, it may be concluded that general nature of fatigue was more as compared to physical and mental nature of fatigue. The data of the control group were also analyzed using Kruskal–Wallis one-way ANOVA and presented in [Table 9], [Table 10], [Table 11].

Kruskal–Wallis one-way ANOVA: The feeling of subjective fatigue score collected before starting of the work among the control group individuals.

Any specific type of feeling of subjective fatigue (General, Mental, and Physical) could not be established among the control group individuals in the morning.

Kruskal–Wallis one-way ANOVA: The feeling of subjective fatigue score collected after work among the control group individuals.

The above result revealed that at the end of the day the type of feeling of subjective fatigue among the control group individuals were general in nature (A > C > B).

The comparison of feeling of subjective fatigue between both groups.

The results of the comparison are presented in [Figure 7], [Figure 8], [Figure 9], [Figure 10].
Figure 9: Comparison of physical fatigue score between two groups (morning and night)

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Figure 10: Comparison of overall fatigue score between two groups (morning and night)

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[Figure 7] reveals there was no significant differences in feeling of general fatigue score between both groups (χ2 – 0.09, P > 0.05) before the work exposure. However, feeling of general fatigue was significantly higher (χ2 – 9.19, P < 0.01) among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing than that of control group after the work exposure.

Similar trends were also observed when the mental fatigue (morning and night) (χ2 – 3.78, P > 0.05; χ2 – 8.54, P < 0.01) and physical fatigue (morning and night) (χ2 – 0.88, P > 0.05; χ2 – 6.91, P < 0.01) were compared between two groups.

The overall fatigue score were also compared between the two groups (morning and night). It was revealed that the difference was not significant in the morning (χ2 – 0.84, P > 0.05). Overall subjective fatigue of the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing was significantly higher than control group (χ2 – 7.61, P < 0.01) after the work exposure.

Comparison of the present study result with literature

The results of feeling of subjective fatigue of the present study (after the work exposure) were compared considering same parameters with different work population available in literature and presented in [Table 15].
Table 15: Comparison of feeling of subjective fatigue (general, mental, and physical) with different work population

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[Table 15] reveals the feeling of subjection fatigue of all the dimensions were significantly higher from responses of Scaffolder, steel fixer, firm worker, electrician, plumber, concreter, and miscellaneous workers.


  Discussion Top


Effects of long working hours especially more than 60 h in a week is an important issue for the researchers involved in the ergonomics studies from past few decades. Studies have shown there are associations between the long hours of work, cumulative fatigue, job stresses, and long-term health effects.[16],[17],[18],[19],[20] Lipscomb et al. observed a relationship between hours of work and musculoskeletal disorders.[21] Similar relationships were also reported by Dembe et al. while studying the impact of overtime and long working hours on occupational injuries and illness in the United States.[22] Both the studies had indicated that long hours of work had increased the exposure to psychological and physical demands and may induce fatigue and stress in affected workers. The study of Park et al. had shown that mean percentage score of feeling of subjective fatigue “before going to work” increased with the increase in length of weekly working hours and the changes were found to be significant.[4] In the present study, it was observed that there were no significant differences in the feeling of subjective fatigue for all dimensions (general, mental, and physical) along with overall score between the two groups before starting of the workday. However, all the dimensions significantly increased after whole day exposure to the daily activity schedule among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing. Literature supports the finding of the present study.[7],[13],[15] The feeling of fatigue is general in nature before starting of the work and at the end of the work. Values for general, mental, physical, and overall are comparable to the values of work exposure to <60 h a week as reported by Park et al.[13] Even though, the workers working for more than 70 h a week, the overall fatigue level was found to be lower probably due to breaks taken in between. Suggesting mild work breaks may have an impact on the level of fatigue. All the dimensions of feeling of subjective fatigue were significantly higher when those were compared with literature.[7]


  Conclusion Top


The major findings of this study can be concluded as follows:

  • There is an effect of whole day work on the feeling of subjective fatigue in all three dimensions (general, mental, and physical) among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing
  • The type of fatigue was reported as “general type” (A > C > B) at the beginning of the work as well as at the end of the work among the workers engaged in jewelry manufacturing.


Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

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Bills AG. The Psychology of Efficiency. New York: Harper; 1943.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
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Basmajian JV, DeLuca C. Muscles Alive: Their Functions Revealed by Electromyography. 5th ed. Baltimore, MD: Williams and Wilkins; 1985.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
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Park J, Kim Y, Chung HK, Hisanaga N. Long working hours and subjective fatigue symptoms. Ind Health 2001;39:250-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Yamada Y, Kameda M, Noborisaka Y, Suzuki H, Honda M, Yamada S. Excessive fatigue and weight gain among cleanroom workers after changing from an 8-hour to a 12-hour shift. Scand J Work Environ Health 2001;27:318-26.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
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Takeyama H, Itani T, Tachi N, Sakamura O, Murata K, Inoue T, et al. Effects of shift schedules on fatigue and physiological functions among firefighters during night duty. Ergonomics 2005;48:1-11.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Otsuka Y, Tatemaru M. Working hours and psychological health among Japanese restaurant services workers. Int J Psychol Couns 2010;2:65-71.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Weiner JS, Lourie JA. Assessment of habitual physical activity. In: Human Biology: A Guide to Field Method. Oxford: International Biological Programme, Blackwell Scientific Publication; 1969. p. 167-81.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Sudo N, Ohtsuka R. Fatigue complaints among female shift workers in a computer factory of Japan. J Hum Ergol (Tokyo) 2002;31:41-51.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Hirose T. An occupational health physician's report on the improvement in the sleeping conditions of night shift workers. Ind Health 2005;43:58-62.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Takahashi M, Iwakiri K, Sotoyama M, Hirata M, Hisanaga N. Arm pain and daytime sleepiness among nursing home employees. Ind Health 2006;44:669-73.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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Szczurak T, Kaminska B, Szpak A. Estimation of the psychological load in the performance of nurses' work based on subjective fatigue symptoms. Adv Med Sci 2007;52 Suppl 1:102-4.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Takeyama H, Itani T, Tachi N, Sakamura O, Murata K, Inoue T, et al. Effects of a modified ambulance night shift system on fatigue and physiological function among ambulance paramedics. J Occup Health 2009;51:204-9.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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Yoshitake H. Relation between the symptoms and the feeling of fatigue. In: Hashimoto K, Kogi K, Grandgean E, editors. Methodology in Human Fatigue Assessment. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.; 1978. p. 175-85.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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Sasaki T, Iwasaki K, Oka T, Hisanaga N, Ueda T, Takada Y, et al. Effect of working hours on cardiovascular-autonomic nervous functions in engineers in an electronics manufacturing company. Ind Health 1999;37:55-61.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
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van der Hulst M. Long workhours and health. Scand J Work Environ Health 2003;29:171-88.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
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McPhee B. Ergonomics in mining. Occup Med (Lond) 2004;54:297-303.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
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Dhar U, Savanur C, Ghosh S, Wani S, Salve R, De A. Nature of Fatigue Among the Workers of Jewellery Industries; Traditional Manufacturing Sector and Modern Manufacturing Sector, Proceedings of an International Conference on Humanizing Work and Work Environment; 2005.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
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Caruso CC, Waters TR. A review of work schedule issues and musculoskeletal disorders with an emphasis on the healthcare sector. Ind Health 2008;46:523-34.  Back to cited text no. 20
    
21.
Lipscomb JA, Trinkoff AM, Geiger-Brown J, Brady B. Work-schedule characteristics and reported musculoskeletal disorders of registered nurses. Scand J Work Environ Health 2002;28:394-401.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
22.
Dembe AE, Erickson JB, Delbos RG, Banks SM. The impact of overtime and long work hours on occupational injuries and illnesses: New evidence from the United States. Occup Environ Med 2005;62:588-97.  Back to cited text no. 22
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8], [Figure 9], [Figure 10]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9], [Table 10], [Table 11], [Table 12], [Table 13], [Table 14], [Table 15]



 

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