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Sleep habits, daytime sleepiness and working conditions in short-distance bus drivers

Joaquin José Diez (Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Ciencias Biomédicas, Universidad Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Departamento de Docencia e Investigación, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Daniel Eduardo Vigo (Departamento de Docencia e Investigación, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Daniel Pedro Cardinali (Departamento de Docencia e Investigación, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Daniel Pérez-Chada (Departamento de Medicina, Servicio de Neumonología, Hospital Universitario Austral, Buenos Aires, Argentina)

International Journal of Workplace Health Management

ISSN: 1753-8351

Article publication date: 4 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

Driving needs high levels of alertness. Increased somnolence is the most important negative influence to maintain proper watchfulness and vigilance. Drowsiness, working conditions and their affective impact must be taken into account to determine driving safety. The purpose of this paper is to assess excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep habits, quality of sleep, stress-related symptoms, and working conditions in a large sample of short-distance bus drivers in the city of Buenos Aires.

Design/methodology/approach

This was a cross-sectional study performed to evaluate sleep habits and obstructive apnea risk in short-distance bus drivers of the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Questionnaires regarding anthropometric data, sleep habits, snoring, daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Quality of Sleep Index, PQSI), working conditions and fatigue and anxiety related to work were administered to professional short-distance bus drivers (n=1023).

Findings

A prevalence of 34.6 percent of obesity and 80 percent of snoring was observed. Mean sleep time during workdays was 6.5±0.1 h and bad sleep quality was reported by 54.6 percent of the subjects. Excessive daytime sleepiness had a prevalence of 48.8 percent and was independently associated with reduced sleep time, increased sleep debt, long time to wake up, snoring, and short resting time along the working day (p<0.05).

Originality/value

Short-distance drivers in Buenos Aires, the largest urban area of Argentina, are a partially sleep-deprived, overweighted population, showing a high daytime somnolence, poor work-rest conditions and high levels of anxiety and fatigue. This association can be very harmful in view of the demanding working conditions considered.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by grants from the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica, Argentina (ANPCyT) (PICT 31390, PICT 2010-1465, and PICT 2007-01045), the University of Buenos Aires (M 048) and Unión Tranviarios Automotor (UTA), Buenos Aires. The authors are gratefull with Graciela Romanelli for her technical assistance and with Osvaldo Bocos from Unión Tranviario Automotor. DEV and DPC are Research Career Awardees from the Argentine Research Council (CONICET). JJD is a fellow from CONICET.

Competing interests: None declared.

Citation

José Diez, J., Eduardo Vigo, D., Pedro Cardinali, D. and Pérez-Chada, D. (2014), "Sleep habits, daytime sleepiness and working conditions in short-distance bus drivers", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 202-212. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJWHM-02-2013-0004

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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