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What is Fatigue and How Do You Prevent It? [blog]

So what is fatigue?

The short answer is that Fatigue is a state of physical or mental impairment that results in reduced alertness. It is a result of a sleep debt that accumulates until paid off with adequate sleep. Symptoms include tiredness, lack of energy, exhaustion and reductions in performance capacity, which in excess is an industrial and public safety issue.

Fatigue can impact both your individual employees as well as your business. The impacts can be significant whether leading to severe health complications or workplace incidents and can cost you money. You can read more about the potential financial impacts to your business here.

Diagram of a brain

Consequences on your business:

  • Severe loss of productivity
  • Breaches of WHS
  • Negative brand reputation
  • Presenteeism
  • Increased accident
  • Increased errors in judgement

Consequences on individuals:

  • Severely negative health effects (both physical and mental)
  • Decreased mobility
  • Negative impact on social/domestic relationships
  • Reduced brain power


Ways to prevent fatigue

When it comes to preventing fatigue, it might seem like the answer is simple… sleep. However, it’s not always as easy as that.
Here are some steps you can take to increase your energy levels long-term:


Talk to your doctor. Fatigue can be a side effect of various illnesses or medications



Exercise. When you’re fatigued, exercising feels like the last thing you want to do but as Kerry J. Stewart, professor of medicine and director of clinical and research exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine says, it’s “the equivalent of improving the fuel efficiency of a car. It gives you more energy for any kind of activity.”


Yoga. The super-food of exercise. Yoga aids in boosting energy levels amongst other benefits.




Stay hydrated. Keeping everything flowing and the brain healthy is vital when it comes to maintaining healthy energy levels



Pay attention to your diet. Eating a balanced diet has shown to improve overall energy levels. Eating small meals throughout the day means that your body is regularly fuelled and doesn’t need to spend excess energy digesting over-sized meals. Cutting back on drugs such as caffeine and sugar also aids in stabilising energy levels


Sleep. Here it is, the factor you were probably expecting to see at the top of the list. A sleep debt is the most common cause of fatigue, and so it may not come as a surprise that a good sleeping pattern is the most common solution!



diagram of fatigue sleep


For more information on fatigue management services contact TMS on , or phone us on (07) 3003 1473

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TMS Consulting