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Effects of upper respiratory tract illnesses in a working population

Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID:, Brice, Carolyn, Leach, Anna, Tiley, Meurig and Williamson, Susan 2004. Effects of upper respiratory tract illnesses in a working population. Ergonomics 47 (4) , pp. 363-369. 10.1080/0014013032000157887

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The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of upper respiratory tract illnesses on efficiency at work. This was done using the ‘after-effect’ technique with measurements being taken before and after work and the difference between these giving an indication of efficiency over the day. All of the volunteers (N = 48) were tested when healthy to provide baseline data for simple reaction time and mood. When volunteers developed an upper respiratory tract illness (URTI) they (N = 16) repeated the procedure. Those who remained healthy over a three month period (N = 32) were recalled as healthy controls. In addition to the performance test and mood ratings the volunteers kept a sleep log and also rated how demanding the day had been and how much effort they had put in. The results showed that those with URTIs had slower reaction times and a more negative mood both before and after work. Illness did not have an effect on ratings of demand and effort. Those who were ill reported greater sleep disturbance but this could not account for the impaired performance or negative mood states. These results suggest that upper respiratory illnesses may impair performance and well-being at work.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Uncontrolled Keywords: Upper respiratory tract illnesses, Mood, Simple reaction time, Working day
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0014-0139
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 09:13

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