Fatigue in the U.S. workforce: prevalence and implications for lost productive work time

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jan;49(1):1-10. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000249782.60321.2a.


Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate fatigue prevalence and associated health-related lost productive time (LPT) in U.S. workers.

Methods: Fatigue prevalence, LPT due to fatigue, and LPT for any health-related reason (in hours and dollars) were measured in a national cross-sectional telephone survey of U.S. workers.

Results: The 2-week period prevalence of fatigue was 37.9%. Of workers with fatigue, 65.7% reported health-related LPT compared with 26.4% of those without fatigue. Workers with fatigue cost employers 136.4 billion dollars annually in health-related LPT, an excess of 101.0 billion dollars compared with workers without fatigue. Fatigue frequently co-occurs with other conditions and, when present, is associated with a threefold increase, on average, in the proportion of workers with condition-specific LPT.

Conclusions: Fatigue is prevalent in the U.S. workforce. When occurring with other health conditions, it is associated with significantly more condition-specific LPT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Efficiency*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Fatigue / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology