Teen at work: the burden of a double shift on daily activities

Liliane Reis Teixeira, Frida Marina Fischer, Roberta Nagai, Samantha Lemos Turte
Chronobiology International 2004, 21 (6): 845-58
The purpose of this study was to the evaluate time spent by working and nonworking adolescents on daily activities (work, home duties, school, transportation, other activities, leisure, sleep, and naps). Twenty-seven students, 8 male workers, 8 female workers, 5 male nonworkers, and 6 female nonworkers, ages 14-18 yrs participated in the study. They attended evening classes Monday-Friday (19:00-22:30h) in a public school in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The students answered a comprehensive questionnaire on the characterization of their life, work, and health conditions. Simultaneously, they wore actigraphs (Ambulatory Monitoring, Inc.) and completed a diary of their daily activities (time spent at work, on home duties, commuting, leisure, other activities) for a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 17 consecutive days. The means of the variables were tested for differences by a two-factor (work and sex) ANOVA and Student-t test applied to pair-wise samples (weekdays and weekends). The average duration during weekdays of working time was 7 h 09 min and home duties 0 h 48 min. As for commuting time, there was a work effect [F(1,23) = 4.9; p = 0.04]; mean commuting time was 2 h 22 min for workers (males and females) and 1 h 25 min for nonworkers. There was a significant difference between workers and nonworkers [F(1,23) = 4.6; p = 0.04] regarding extra-cirricular class activities; workers spent a mean of 3 min/day on them as opposed to 1 h 14 min by nonworkers. The average daily time spent on leisure activities by workers was 6h 31 min; whereas, for nonworkers it was 7h 38min. Time spent in school amounted to 2h 47min for workers in comparison to 3h 22min by nonworkers. There was a significant work effect upon sleep [F(1,23)= 10.0; p <0.01]. The work effect upon nighttime sleep duration was significant [F(1,23)= 16.7; p <0.01]. Male workers showed a mean night sleep of 6 h 57 min and female workers 07h 15min. The average nighttime sleep duration for nonworkers was 9 h 06 min. There was a significant interactive effect between work and sex [F(1,23)= 5.6; p=0.03] for naps. Female workers showed took shortest nap on average (36 min; SD = 26 min), and female nonworkers the longest naps (1 h 45min; SD= 35min). Study and employment exert significant impact on the life and activities of high school students. Work affects sleep and nap duration plus the amount of time spent in school and other extra-curricular activities.

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