Managing Your Fatigue at Work

Even for someone who loves going to work every day, it’s inevitable that you will need a break. For the good of your own personal health and safety, it’s important to recognise fatigue as a serious issue.

What Is Fatigue?

Being fatigued is a more serious issue than simply being tired or sleepy. Fatigue stems from extended mental or physical exhaustion, and can be dangerous due to its adverse effects on reaction time, motor skills and alertness. People who are fatigued may also be more likely to suffer from heart disease and depression.

In addition to potentially having negative effects on your own health and productivity, trying to work while fatigued can result in serious safety issues for both you and your co-workers. According to recent research from the HSE, fatigue is one of the top causes of workplace accidents across industry lines—costing the UK economy over £100 million each year.

Preventing Fatigue

There are a number of methods that you can use to try to help yourself fend off fatigue. Consider these tips:

  • Sleep well—Establish a regular sleep schedule, make your bedroom as dark as possible and avoid using your mobile while in bed.
  • Eat right—Drink plenty of water throughout the day, limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, and avoid eating large meals close to your regular bedtime.
  • Get some exercise—Find time to work out during the day. Even modest exercise, like taking a walk, can help you sleep better and feel less stressed afterwards.
  • Use your Annual Leave - You may find that if you have a few days off work, you will be more refreshed and motivated when you're back. Take a long weekend or maybe even a week off. 

Managing Fatigue

Although it may be ideal to prevent yourself from becoming fatigued in the first place, it’s important to be prepared in case it does become an issue. Remember these tips if you find yourself feeling fatigued at work:

  • Grab a healthy snack—While foods that are high in fat or sugar can lead to an energy slump, there are many healthier options, such as fruits and nuts, that can provide a boost.
  • Loosen up—Taking a minute to stretch out your muscles can increase your blood flow and lift your overall energy levels.

Fatigue is a serious issue that can lead to many other physical and mental health problems. If you are suffering from fatigue, inform your supervisor and consult your GP.