What are some signs/symptoms of fatigue?
Fatigue is the state of feeling tired or being exhausted as a result of physical or mental exertion. Fatigue affects our mental alertness, reaction time, and physical coordination.
Signs of Fatigue:
- Physical – Drowsiness, yawning, muscle aches, appetite loss/digestive problems and blurred vision
- Mental – Distraction, less alert, poor logic/judgment, failure to respond to changes
- Emotional – Bored, irritable, restlessness, impatient, giddy and/or depressed
So how do we deal with fatigue?
For starters accept that “trying harder not to fall asleep” is never an effective strategy. Rather, engage in a brisk activity to get your adrenaline flowing. Take a moment to stretch out your muscles. Take a brisk walk to get your heart pumping.
Coffee has some benefit, but too much coffee throws off the body’s natural ability to stay alert and focused. However, do drink plenty of water particularly in hot weather.
And don’t forget the obvious. Sleep a minimum of 7 hours before your shift, allowing adequate time to re-charge for the work day. Eat a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. Also, minimize stress by striving for a good work/life balance. Take steps to prevent fatigue from putting your safety at risk.