Fatigue in the U.S. Workforce: Prevalence and Implications for Lost Productive Work Time

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Abstract

Objective:

The objective of this study was to estimate fatigue prevalence and associated health-related lost productive time (LPT) in U.S. workers.

Methods:

Fatigue prevalence, LPT due to fatigue, and LPT for any health-related reason (in hours and dollars) were measured in a national cross-sectional telephone survey of U.S. workers.

Results:

The 2-week period prevalence of fatigue was 37.9%. Of workers with fatigue, 65.7% reported health-related LPT compared with 26.4% of those without fatigue. Workers with fatigue cost employers $136.4 billion annually in health-related LPT, an excess of $101.0 billion compared with workers without fatigue. Fatigue frequently co-occurs with other conditions and, when present, is associated with a threefold increase, on average, in the proportion of workers with condition-specific LPT.

Conclusions:

Fatigue is prevalent in the U.S. workforce. When occurring with other health conditions, it is associated with significantly more condition-specific LPT.

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