Caffeine 'cuts shift work mishaps'
Posted Fri, 14 May 2010
Potentially dangerous workplace mishaps caused by worn-out shift workers could be avoided by a simple shot of caffeine, research has shown.
Researchers from the London School of Tropical Medicine carried out an experiment to discover whether a dose of caffeine had any effect on the frequency of mistakes being made by employees working unsocial hours which causes them to fall victim to a form of "jet lag" due to disturbed body clock rhythms.
The study involved 13 trials investigating the effects of caffeine on shift worker performance and found that those that were given the drug in the form of coffee, "pep" pills, energy drinks and caffeinated foods performed better in a number of tests.
Researchers tested the claims against a "dummy" placebo group and found that those given caffeine during the experiment performed better in various tests including memory, attention, perception, conceptualising and reasoning.
Lead Researcher Dr Katherine Ker, from the London School of Tropical Medicine, said: "It seems reasonable to assume that reduced errors are associated with fewer injuries, although we cannot quantify such as reduction."
Copyright © Press Association 2010
London School of Tropical Medicine