This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Physical Fatigue at Work: Prevalence and Interventions




Lu, Lin

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Industrial and Systems Engineering


Advanced manufacturing has resulted in significant changes on the shop-floor, influencing work demands and the working environment. The corresponding safety-related impacts, including fatigue, have not been fully captured on an industry-wide scale. The objectives of this dissertation are to understand the current state of workers’ physical fatigue in the manufacturing sector, and suggest evidence-based interventions that can be applied at workplaces. Specifically, these objectives were investigated through two studies. In the first study, a cross-sectional survey of U.S. manufacturing workers was conducted and analyzed to examine the prevalence of fatigue, its root causes and significant associated factors, as well as the individual fatigue coping methods adopted by survey participants. This study has been disseminated to the research community through a journal paper. The second study was a systematic review of existing controlled clinical trials to grade the methodological quality of the studies and assess the levels of evidence on interventions. Overall, this research aims to inform the design of fatigue monitoring and mitigation strategies as well as suggest future research related to fatigue development.