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Working tension in long-haul truck drivers: forming factors

ISSN 2223-6775 Ukrainian journal of occupational health Vol.19, No 4, 2023

Working tension in long-haul truck drivers: forming factors

Bobko N.A., Gadayeva D.O., Antoniuk A.Yu.
State Institution «Kundiiev Institute of Occupational Health of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine», Kyiv

Full article (PDF): ENG / UKR

Introduction. Labour tension causes the body's work tension, which can be defined as an increase in the intensity of physiological processes that ensure occupational activity".This is accomplisheddue to an increase in energy consumption, that is, an increase in the physiological price of work performance. Labour tension is the leading adverse factor in the working conditions of long-haul truck drivers.

The purpose of the study was to reveal the characteristics of both the labour process and the body functional state that influence the formation of work tension in long-haultruck drivers.

Research materials and methods. 77 long-haul truck drivers aged 28-67 (M±m: 49.9±1.0) were examined. Felt working tension over the performed haul was evaluated using 5-ancor Likert scale. The following work process characteristics were registered: number of days spent in the hauls over the year and number of night working hours per haul – over the last working year, 5 years ago and 10 years ago. The following characteristics of body functional state were measured: age-experience parameters; blood pressure systolic (BPS) and diastolic, heart rate, Stange's test, Uemura's test, index of health status (IHS) and pathological index (PI) according to V.P. Voytenko's method; felt fatigue, stress, physical and mental workability by 5-ancor Likert scale; indicators of personal anxiety according to Spielberger-Khanin; duration and quality of night sleep on both working days and days off - for the last year, 5 years ago and 10 years ago. Statistical data processing was performed at p<0.05.

Results. Work tension level over the performed haul positively correlated (by Pearson, p<0,05) to both - the number of days spent in the hauls over the year and number of night working hours per haul - 10 years ago; to age-experience parameters; indices HIS, PI,anxiety; felt fatigue and stress. Negatively correlated to the indicators of the Stange’s test performance, felt physical workability, sleep parameters (also - 5 years ago).

A negative correlation between ATS and number of days spent in the hauls over the last year was revealed (r=-0.24, p<0.03). Certain health complaints were revealed, in the presence of which the felt working tension was higher than in their absence (p<0.05).

Conclusions. 1. The total number of working days in hauls per year (p<0.01) and the number of night working hours (p<0.04) influence the perennial cumulative formation of a shortage of body resources: the more they were in previous years (in our case - 10 years ago), the higher is the felt working tension(physiological price of work)today.2. The increased need of long-haul truck drivers for sleep duration (8.25±0.15 hours on working days; 9.09±0.17 hours on days off) compared to the healthy standard of 7-8 hours may be a consequence of unfavourable working conditions. Extending sleep and improving its quality on days off is accompanied by a decrease in the felt working tension (physiological price of work). Improving the quality of sleep on days off has a cumulative effect of long-term formation of the body's resources (in our case, 5 years). 3. An increase in the felt working tension (physiological price of the work performed) was found with an increase in age (p<0.02), experience of working as a driver (p<0.02), in long-term (by weeks) business trips (p<0.03) and frequent night work hours (p<0.05); number of health complaints (IHS index: p<0.001), risk of chronic diseases (PI index: p<0.001), personal anxiety (p<0.03), felt fatigue (p<0.0001), stress (p<0.0001), as well as in the presence of the following complaints: concentration problems (p<0.01), tinnitus (p<0.05), joint pain (p<0.05), pain in the lower back (p<0.05), unpleasant taste in the mouth (p<0.04), the need to use some decoctions etc. for therapeutic purposes (p<0.02), lethargy and wrinkling of the skin (p<0.01), a feeling of "creeping ants" (p<0.04). 4. A decrease in the felt working tension (physiological price of the performed work) was revealed with an increase in self-assessment of physical workability (p<0.03), a lengthening of the breath hold on inhalation (Stange test) (p<0.01) and an increase in pulse after performing the Stange test (p<0.03). 5. The lower the blood pressure, the longer the long-haul truck driver could stay on hauls and to withstand the working tension (p<0.03), which indicates the importance of maintaining the health of the circulatory system.

Keywords: working conditions, labour intensity, work process characteristics, body functional state, physiological price of work, circulatory system, age, experience, night work, watch work, shift work, anxiety.


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