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Chronobiol Int. 2008 Apr;25(2):263-70. doi: 10.1080/07420520802114029.

The interference of flexible working times with the circadian temperature rhythm--a predictor of impairment to health and well-being?

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GAWO (Gesellschaft für Arbeits-, Wirtschafts- und Organisationspsychologische Forschung e.V.), Oldenburg, Germany.


In order to analyze whether impairments to health and well-being under flexible working hours can be predicted from specific characteristics of the work schedules, periodic components in flexible working hours and their interference with the circadian temperature rhythm were analyzed applying univariate and bivariate spectrum analyses to both time series. The resulting indicators of spectral power and phase shift of these components were then related to reported health impairments using regression analysis. The results show that a suppression of both the 24 and the 168 h components in the work schedules (i.e., a lack of periodicity) can be used to predict reported health impairments, and that if there are relatively strong 24 and 168 h components left in the work schedules, their phase difference with the temperature rhythm (as an indicator of the interference between working time and the circadian rhythm) further predicts impairment. The results indicate that the periodicity of working hours and the amount of (circadian) desynchronization induced by flexible work schedules can be used for predicting the impairing effects of flexible work schedules on health and well-being. The results can thus be used for evaluating and designing flexible shift rosters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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