Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Caffeine reduces mistakes made by shift workers, study finds

Date:
May 12, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Caffeine can help those working shifts or nights to make fewer errors, according to a new study. The findings have implications for health workers and for any industry relying on shift or night work, such as transportation.

Caffeine can help those working shifts or nights to make fewer errors, according to a new study by Cochrane researchers. The findings have implications for health workers and for any industry relying on shift or night work, such as transportation.

Related Articles


More than 15% of workers in industrialised countries are involved in some shift or night time work, which may upset natural circadian rhythms or 'body clocks'. In so-called shift work disorder (SWD), workers sleep only for short periods and consequently can become very sleepy during working hours. Sleepiness is thought to increase the risk of adverse events such as traffic crashes, occupational injuries and medical errors.

The researchers reviewed data from 13 trials studying the effects of caffeine on performance in shift workers, mostly in simulated working conditions. Caffeine was given in coffee, pills, energy drinks or caffeinated food. In some trials, performance was assessed by tasks such as driving, whereas in others it was assessed by neuropsychological tests. Caffeine appeared to reduce errors compared to placebos or naps, and improve performance in various neuropsychological tests, including those focusing on memory, attention, perception and concept formation and reasoning.

None of the trials measured injuries directly, but improved performance may translate into reduced numbers of injuries caused by sleepiness, according to researchers. "It seems reasonable to assume that reduced errors are associated with fewer injuries, although we cannot quantify such a reduction," says lead researcher Katharine Ker of the London School of Tropical Medicine in London, UK.

The average age in most trials was between 20 and 30 years and thus, because the effect of disruption to the circadian rhythm varies with age, there is still a need for more research on how caffeine affects alertness in older workers. The study also finds that there is a need for research to explore the effects of caffeine compared to other measures in order to reduce errors made by shift workers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ker K, Edwards PJ, Felix LM, Blackhall K, Roberts I. Caffeine for the prevention of injuries and errors in shift workers. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2010; Issue 5. Art. No.: CD008508 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008508

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Caffeine reduces mistakes made by shift workers, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100511192248.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, May 12). Caffeine reduces mistakes made by shift workers, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100511192248.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Caffeine reduces mistakes made by shift workers, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100511192248.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins