Fatigue: Causes, Effects, and Tips on How to Fight it

Fatigue is one of the common conditions experienced by employees. It affects not only the quality of their lives but also their work performance. 

Typically, this is described as the feeling of constant weakness and tiredness and can be either physical or mental. Sadly, fatigue can stop a person from working usually and may cause various health issues and work issues.

Having fatigue may sometimes be hard to avoid, but healthy habits like exercise and proper nutrition can help decrease its harmful effects. 

But if you’re already utilizing healthy ways but still find it hard to perform at work due to fatigue, this article will help you learn more about how to fight it. 


What Is Fatigue?


According to WebMD, fatigue refers to the daily lack of energy; it’s marked by an unusual or excessive whole-body tiredness that can’t be relieved by sleep. It can be acute (lasting a month or less) or chronic (lasting from one to six months or longer).

Simply put, fatigue is the feeling of being tired. However, it may differ from drowsiness, a feeling of apathy, and a feeling of lack of energy.

There are other terms to describe fatigue, such as:

  • Physical or mental exhaustion;
  • Reduced or less energy;
  • Lack of motivation. 


Causes Of Fatigue


Various factors may cause fatigue, including:

  1. Medical causes. Some illnesses may trigger and cause fatigue, such as heart diseases, thyroid disorder, and diabetes.
  2. Job-related factors. Stress in the workplace can lead to a feeling of fatigue, as well. Deadlines, workmates relationships, and other job issues can significantly affect someone on how to deal with their work.
  3. Lifestyle-related causes. Other things may cause fatigue, which is related to the kind of lifestyle. This may include drugs, alcohol, lack of regular exercise, and proper nutrition.
  4. Emotional factors. One of the symptoms of mental health problems includes fatigue. When fatigue is accompanied by anxiety, irritability, and lack of motivation, this needs proper attention since this can lead to other issues.


Common Symptoms Of Fatigue


As mentioned earlier, fatigue can result in various physical, emotional, and mental symptoms, such as:

  • Mild to chronic headaches;
  • Problems with sleeping;
  • A feeling of too much tiredness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Muscle weakness and soreness;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Obvious slowed responses and reflexes;
  • Problems in decision-making;
  • Impaired judgment;
  • Irritability;
  • Moodiness;
  • Weak immune system;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Poor focus and concentration;
  • Having hallucinations;
  • Short-term memory issues;
  • Low self-motivation;
  • Inability to pay attention to a particular situation;
  • Problematic hand and eye coordination.

One needs to be observant of the symptoms mentioned above to be able to take prompt actions on how to prevent fatigue from causing other issues in life and work. 


Various Effects Of Fatigue 


When fatigue is not prevented, it can affect people personally and professionally. The following are some of the effects fatigue can bring; these are not limited to the workplace and home only but may also reach until the way they deal with colleagues and friends:

  1. Fatigue can affect communication skills. When the body and mind are not working correctly, there’s a big chance that people may not successfully convey their messages properly. In that case, more significant issues may occur. In some cases, employees may not be able to send their message across if they are not in good physical condition. They feel tired, lethargic, and losing focus.
  2. Fatigue can also trigger issues such as the decreased ability to handle stress. As we all know, stress can bring harmful effects to our health and impede us from doing our job.
  3. This can also affect one’s attention to specific things or situations. When someone lacks motivation it will become more difficult to achieve greater things.
  4. Fatigue can also increase forgetfulness and may lead to memory problems. When that happens, there will be tasks that can be missed, and assignments that can’t be completed.
  5. In the workplace, fatigue can bring increased sick time, turnover rate, and frequent absences. When an employee feels tired and doesn’t want to work due to fatigue, the company’s target for work accomplishment will not be met.
  6. Since fatigue is related to some medical conditions, chances are you will incur increased medical costs.
  7. One of the fatigue effects deals with sleep problems. The inability to fall asleep within the right number of hours per day will affect overall daily performance. This may cause someone’s failure to stay awake during the daytime, thus, decreasing productivity.
  8. Some studies stated that there are increased errors in judgment and decision making. When a person feels tired, it’s often that they may not be able to concentrate well or think straight.
  9. Fatigue can cause a person to have a delayed reaction time and response to situations.
  10. Ability to recall details can also be affected due to fatigue. Since a person’s focus and concentration can be changed, there will be instances where an individual may feel that details of a thing or event are hard to understand and remember.
  11. A person having problems physically, mentally, and emotionally may experience difficulty in doing complex planning. 
  12. Either at home and work, productivity and performance can be decreased in terms of quality since members of the team or organization experiencing fatigue may struggle to complete their tasks and projects.
  13. Decision making can be complicated and confusing when someone has fatigue. Feeling tired and a lack of motivation will trigger a person to let things pass instead of doing something to achieve work results.
  14. The capability to respond to various changes in the environment as well as understanding the provided information may also not be transparent and seamless when people assigned to the jobs are having fatigue. Instead of effectively working on them, some problems can also be caused because of miscommunication and lack of planning.

Also, fatigue can trigger some health issues such as digestive problems, appetite loss, depression, and other chronic health problems. 


Effective Ways On How To Fight Fatigue


There are countless natural ways to keep fatigue at bay and control it to avoid feeling tired all the time. So, let’s focus first on how we can deal with fatigue. One of the best things employers must do is to have shift schedules to give their employers time to prepare and be safe in their work environment.

  1. Make sure that when the job requires overtime, the employers will be given ample time to prepare for activities such as eating meals, commuting, relaxing, and meeting new connections.
  2. A work environment must be conducive and should provide excellent lighting, the right temperature, and proper noise levels.
  3. Be sure that your work is flexible. If possible, make tasks as flexible as possible because redundancy can lead to boredom and fatigue.
  4. The workplace must provide amenities and tools. Just imagine if there are no machines in the workplace to aid with paperwork and data processing. Other items that may be considered include on-site accommodations, packed meals, and facilities where employees can nap or rest before going back home.

The following are additional tips on how to generally prevent fatigue as well as the effects it can bring:


#1 Be aware of your health conditions 


Fatigue is one common symptom of various health conditions such as heart diseases, arthritis, thyroid disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and others. With that being said, it’s essential to talk to a physician to check why you feel tired often. This will help to understand the underlying cause of fatigue and do the prevention needed.


#2 Rehydrate, drink plenty of water


Water is vital for maintaining good health. Rehydration can help prevent fatigue to avoid decreasing concentration and alertness. Drink plenty of water and juices to avoid dehydration.


#3 Do some exercises and keep moving


You might be thinking about how exercise can prevent fatigue. However, exercise is proven to be useful in boosting energy levels aside from that. Exercise is also medically advised to help improve the overall quality of life and work performance.


#4 Do some yoga and meditation exercises 


Although most types of exercises are good for us, yoga may be specifically effective in helping boost zest and energy. Many yoga and meditation classes aim to bring improvements in self-esteem, mindfulness, energy, and physical performance.


#5 Have a great sleep 


Make a habit of going to bed early and make sure to get enough sleep. A lack of sleep may increase the chance of getting involved in accidents. This is also one of the major factors which cause daytime fatigue. When someone is at work yet feels sleepy, you can’t expect concentration and focus. There will be no clear thinking, and worse, there can be some critical matters that may be overseen.

In case you had a not-so-good night sleep, you can take a brief nap in the afternoon. It is proven that napping can restore our energy and promotes better learning and productivity. 

You can nap for ten minutes, just enough to regain your strength. For some, a nap followed by a coffee cup can be another excellent energy boost. Just remember to take coffee in a moderate amount because too much of it can risk your health.


#6 Eat healthy fish 


Certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 oils, which are great for the heart and boost alertness.

A study in Italy's University of Siena found out that volunteers who took a fish oil capsule for three weeks showed a faster mental reaction. Furthermore, they are also reported that they feel more vigorous and energized.


#7 Keep track and be aware of your body clock


Some people are more energetic in the morning while others are ‘night owls’ because they are more productive at the end of the day. 

These individual differences are caused by brain structure and genetics; both factors are difficult to change. 

That is why we need to be aware of our circadian rhythms or ‘body clock.’ This will help you determine which part of the day you are most comfortable working to have a better schedule.


#8 Keep a normal weight


Shedding off extra pounds can help provide a powerful energy boost.  Overweight people may experience difficulties with movements and energy. Health experts and nutrition advisors will advise to eat a balanced diet and do some basic exercises to help in weight loss journey. Even a little reduction in body fat can improve vigour, mood, and quality of life.


#9 Eat more often (in small portions) 


Some people are confused when we say diet and nutrition. They sometimes put themselves in a diet that plans that instead of helping them can cause an undesired effect.

Also, prepare smaller meals during the day. In that way, your blood sugar levels will be appropriately maintained. Choose whole grains and healthy foods with complex carbohydrates. Always choose foods that are healthy and good for the body. 




Fatigue can be part of our daily lives, but it’s on us to it from causing further issues in our life. So, make sure to get informed and work to avoid it. 

Do not allow fatigue to control or overwhelm your personal or professional life. While these tips can definitely help you feel less fatigued, it’s always best to consult a professional to get to the bottom of the issue and regain control over your life.