Battery Discharge from Monday to Friday: Background Social Stress at Work is Associated with more Rapid Accumulation of Fatigue

Elfering, Achim; Kottwitz, Maria U.; Semmer, Norbert K. (2021). Battery Discharge from Monday to Friday: Background Social Stress at Work is Associated with more Rapid Accumulation of Fatigue. Sleep and vigilance, 5(1), pp. 49-60. Springer 10.1007/s41782-021-00127-7

Elfering_et_al_Sleep_Vigilance_2021.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (574kB) | Preview

Purpose: This field study investigated the effects of background social stress at work on the weekly course of evening fatigue.
Methods: Male employees of a Swiss organisation reported their fatigue after work and at 9 pm in the evening over three weeks. A total of 482 evening fatigue measurements from 34 male participants were subjected to multilevel analysis.
Results: Sleep quality in the previous night and fatigue after work predicted evening fatigue. Evening fatigue was not associated with the time spent on daily housework or child care. There was a linear increase in evening fatigue across weekdays and a main effect of workplace social stressors on evening fatigue. Sleep quality during the previous night mediated the link between background social stressors and evening fatigue. Moreover, an interaction between workplace social stressors and working days indicated that fatigue accumulated faster during the working week in those reporting a high level of social stress at work.
Conclusion: Social stress at work seems to accelerate the loss of resources over consecutive workdays. The analysis of workplace social stressors and other potential moderators of resource dynamics contributes to our understanding of work-related stress, including the role of background stressors and the temporal dynamics of resource loss.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Elfering, Achim, Kottwitz, Maria Undine, Semmer, Norbert Karl


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology








Christine Soltermann

Date Deposited:

04 Mar 2022 13:49

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:35

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Recovery, Working week, Depletion of resources, Work stress




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback