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Effect of stress on the cardiovascular system activity in operators of predominantly mental work at different times of the day and the working week


The heart rate and systolic and diastolic blood pressures (HR, BPs, and BPd, respectively) were measured in controllers of electricity distribution at the beginning and end of 12-h shifts. Hemodynamic parameters were calculated. The stress was assessed with a five-point scale. It was found that the stress of mental work of the operator type activated the functioning of the cardiovascular system (CVS). The CVS reaction was more pronounced and interactive during the first shifts in each block than during the second shifts. The CVS reaction was more pronounced and interactive during day shifts than during night shifts. An increase in stress during the first day shifts was accompanied by a decrease in HR and an increase in minimum BPd during the shift, in the absence of a BPs reaction. The minimum levels of all three parameters (HR, BPs, and BPd) were increased during the first night shifts, which indicates that the effectiveness of CVS activation in the nighttime was decreased as compared to the daytime. The BPd is specifically sensitive to the work stress of controllers: its reaction to an increase in stress is classic during the first shifts and inverted during the second night shifts. This reflects exhaustion of adaptation reserves. The HR showed attenuated reactivity during the daytime, but not during the nighttime, when it reacted in the classic way.

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Original Russian Text © N.A. Bobko, 2007, published in Fiziologiya Cheloveka, 2007, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 55–62.

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Bobko, N.A. Effect of stress on the cardiovascular system activity in operators of predominantly mental work at different times of the day and the working week. Hum Physiol 33, 302–308 (2007).

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  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Myocardial Blood Flow
  • Mental Stress
  • Night Shift
  • Electricity Distribution