Most people work between 8:00 and 18:00 on week days, but some workers engage in work activities in less orthodox schedules. Shift workers, as usually named, are very common in some areas due to shortage of specialised personnel (e.g., healthcare), or the pressure to reduce production costs. A recent survey from the European Union reports that 21% of the workers do shifts, and that 90% of these work during the night, every month (Eurofound, 2016).
Engaging in shift work can have a strong impact in the life of the workers. The most immediate problems are difficulties in getting to sleep, shortened sleep duration, and daily somnolence (Akerstedt, 2003). Moreover, epidemiological studies associate shift work with the appearance of peptic ulcer disease, coronary heart disease, and compromised pregnancy outcomes (Knutsson, 2003).
Since it is not possible to completely avoid shifts, the project Clockwork will shape technology to support and improve the lives of shift workers. In particular, the consortium will use mobile devices, sensors, and smart lightning systems to adjust lightning to the shift worker, as well as collect parameters about daily life and work that can trigger recommendations or reflection about existing habits.
This project will contribute to the evaluation of the pilot of Clockwork. The content will be useful to the deliverables of the project and for developing our knowledge about the developed solution.
Author: Cristiana Braga
Type: MSc thesis
Partner: Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto