Fatigue on the farm
Fatigue can affect anyone, but farmers who work alone, often in the heat and for long hours without much rest are especially at risk.
Other causes of fatigue include stress, depression, poor diet, poor sleeping habits, grief, illness, some medications, alcohol and drugs.
Unlike simply being tired, fatigue leaves you feeling drained. If you are experiencing fatigue, you might not be able work to your full capability, or at all.
Fatigue can be very dangerous, often affecting your reflexes, awareness of what’s happening around you and ability to make decisions.
Symptoms of fatigue include:
- headaches, dizziness, blurry vision
- impaired judgement
- loss of appetite
- poor concentration, memory problems and hallucinations
- slow reflexes and reactions
- feeling irritable, moody and short tempered
- aching, weak muscles
- chronic tiredness or sleepiness.
Fatigue is a symptom of an underlying problem. To understand how to manage your fatigue, you need to determine the cause.
Some general tips for reducing fatigue are:
- Aim for at least eight hours sleep every night.
- Try not to start work too early in the morning.
- Try not to work several long days in a row.
- Avoid doing strenuous work in the heat of the day.
- Consider a brief nap during the day.
- Take regular breaks throughout the day.
- Eat healthy food and drink plenty of water.
- Limit or avoid alcohol and other drugs.
- Cut down your caffeine intake (coffee, tea, energy drinks etc.).
You should seek the advice of your doctor if you think you might be experiencing fatigue.
To find out how farmers Kym and Sharon avoid fatigue on the farm, check out their story.