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Volume

5

Issue

3

Publisher

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Abstract

This research investigates human circadian rhythms and describes how they are affected by different types of shift work rotation patterns. Past studies have indicated that air traffic controllers prefer to work the type of rotation patterns that induce the negative result of circadian dysrhythmia. It has been established that workers experience decrements in performance from this condition. Recently, an alternate work schedule has allowed controllers to work new various rotation patterns, some of which disrupt circadian processes even more than previously preferred schedules. A descriptive analysis of controller work schedules from randomly selected facilities indicates that 16% of controllers are working the most disruptive type of schedules and that another 29% are working other dysrhythmia-inducing shift rotations. It is concluded that performance deficiencies are highly probable among these controllers and that tests should be conducted to determine the significance of the effect.

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