In co-operation with the Deutsche Lufthhansa AG (and supported by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Academy of Flight Medicine), the work stress and strain on 44 members of the cabin crew of the transmeridian flight route Frankfurt (Main) - San Francisco - Frankfurt (Main) (9 time zones) was examined aero-medically . The acquisition of data for each flight attendant began three days before the round trip and ended on the third day after the return. EKG, blood pressure cortisol s well as subjective data on fatigue, work strain and sleep were recorded regularly. The body temperature was measured continuously before and after the round trip in order to register the circadian rhythm.
The following results were obtained under the conditions examined:
- Control data and data obtained during and after the flights differ.
- The subjective estimates of the flight attendants showed differences between the outbound and the return flight.
- Extreme alterations of the circadian rhythm did not arise.
- During specific sections of the flight, the state of fatigue was extremely high (especially during the return flight).
- Stress and strain in the economy class was substantially higher than they were in the two higher service classes.
The research report 'Study on Strain, Workload, and Circadian Rhythm in Cabin Crews during Transmeridian Flights' can be downloaded in PDF-format (German only, Abstract also available in English).
Click here for a more detailed summary of the results of the study.