In a survey of more than 12,500 extended-hours workers, 30 percent of male workers and 41 percent of female workers reported "Chronic or Frequent" back pain, according to a report, "Ergonomics Risks, Myths, and Solutions for Extended Hours Operations," issued by Circadian Technologies.

Sixteen percent of male workers and 27 percent of female workers reported "Chronic or Frequent" wrist pain.

Sleep deprivation could possibly be damaging in terms of muscle, ligament or tendon injury. With the average extended-hours employee sleeping only 5.1 hours to 5.5 hours each day when working a night shift, they could face an increased risk of ergonomic injuries.

The balance of work and home life is important in controlling the number of lost work days due to MSD complaints. Both men and women who face simultaneous presence of high mental workload and increased domestic workload have increased neck and shoulder MSDs.

Employees who reported little or no influence over their work schedule had significant increases in ergonomic injuries of the shoulders, hips and knees.

The report raises important issues for managers of extended-hours facilities, in which overtime levels have reached all-time highs, and in which employees regularly work evenings, nights, rotations and long shifts, according to Circadian.

Managers of extended-hours operations can implement numerous interventions to address the increased risk of ergonomics injuries for the 24 million Americans who regularly work nights, rotating shifts, irregular and on-call schedules.

"Involving employees in schedule selection, training workers on managing the work-life demands of working extended hours, and revisiting workplace policies such as break rules and rest periods can significantly decrease the risk of costly accidents and injuries," states Alex Kerin, Ph.D., Circadian ergonomics specialist.

An executive summary of Ergonomics Risks, Myths, and Solutions for Extended Hours Operations can be obtained by contacting Circadian Media Relations Coordinator Tracy Maddaloni at (781) 676-6900 or