Sitting at a computer all day seems like a pretty sweet gig, right? Unfortunately even just sitting at a desk and staring at a screen all day can lead to fatigue and leave you wondering why you are so tired at the end of the day. The psychology of work fatigue is complicated, but there are some things you can do to mitigate its effects and get your life back on track.
When you are feeling tired all the time, lacking focus and concentration, and starting to feel anxiety or depression on a regular basis, you may be starting to feel the effects of work fatigue. In order to find out whether you are feeling fatigue or you are just plain tired, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and water for a few nights to gauge whether there is any improvement in your symptoms. If your tiredness persists despite getting plenty of rest and being fully hydrated, it may be work fatigue.
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People who work in low income or minimum wage jobs may be at the greatest risk for developing work fatigue. People in high stress jobs, like doctors and retail workers, may also be at higher risk for developing work fatigue. Any additional stressors in your daily life can contribute to an excess of fatigue.
In order to combat this fatigue, first take stock of the areas of your daily work life where you can cut back or adjust. Over the last few decades Americans’ work weeks have steadily grown, from 37.5 hours a week in 1976 to 47.7 hours a week in 2017. Most states mandate a 30 minute break period every 4 to 8 hours, and overtime pay is mandated for most people who work more than 40 hours in a week. Cutting back on working hours and taking more breaks is a great place to start, but you can also talk to your boss about lifestyle changes like working all or part time at home to cut out commutes and free up more personal time, or even look for a job with better pay for the hours worked so you don’t have to put in so much overtime.
Work fatigue doesn’t have to keep you down, and it’s up to you to recognize the symptoms and figure out what to do about them. Learn more about the psychology of work fatigue from this infographic.