Worker Fatigue Leads to $136B Loss in Productivity

January 16, 2007 ( - Sixty-six percent of workers say that fatigue has led to lost health-related productivity at work, a cost that a new study estimates to total $136 billion.

According to, the study, which included interviews with 29,000 workers and is published in the January issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that 26% of workers without fatigue reported health-related lost productivity.

In terms of lost time, workers with fatigue averaged 5.6 hours, compared to 3.3 hours for those that did not report fatigue.

The study found that 38% of workers had experienced “low levels of energy, poor sleep, or a feeling of fatigue” during the past two weeks.

According to, fatigue that stems from health conditions such as depression or anxiety accounts for only a small part of lost productivity at work, with more of the lost productive time being attributed to a range of other physical and mental health problems that may occur when fatigue is present.