Background: Few studies have examined ambulatory cardiovascular physiological parameters of taxi drivers while driving in relation to their occupational hazards. This study aims to investigate and quantify the impact of worksite physical hazards as a whole on ambulatory heart rate of professional taxi drivers while driving without their typical worksite psychosocial stressors. Methods: Ambulatory heart rate (HRdriving) of 13 non-smoking male taxi drivers (24 to 67 years old) while driving was continuously assessed on their 6-hour experimental on-road driving in Los Angeles. Percent maximum HR range (PMHRdriving) of the drivers while driving was estimated based on the individual HRdriving values and US adult population resting HR (HRrest) reference data. For analyses, the HRdriving and PMHRdriving data were split and averaged into 5-min segments. Five physical hazards inside taxi cabs were also monitored while driving. Work stress and work hours on typical work days were self-reported. Results: The means of the ambulatory 5-min HRdriving and PMHRdriving values of the 13 drivers were 80.5 bpm (11. 2 bpm higher than their mean HRrest) and 10.7 % (range, 5.7 to 19.9 %), respectively. The means were lower than the upper limits of ambulatory HR and PMHR for a sustainable 8-hour work (35 bpm above HRrest and 30 % PMHR), although 15-27 % of the 5-min HRdriving and PMHRdriving values of one driver were higher than the limits. The levels of the five physical hazards among the drivers were modest: temperature (26.4 ± 3.0 °C), relative humidity (40.7 ± 10. 4 %), PM2.5 (21.5 ± 7.9 μg/m3), CO2 (1,267.1 ± 580.0 ppm) and noise (69.7 ± 3.0 dBA). The drivers worked, on average, 72 h per week and more than half of them reported that their job were often stressful. Conclusions: The impact of physical worksite hazards alone on ambulatory HR of professional taxi drivers in Los Angeles generally appeared to be minor. Future ambulatory heart rate studies including both physical and psychosocial hazards of professional taxi drivers are warranted.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): Grant # 5R21OH010196-02. The authors sincerely thank Fengwen Wang, David Fung, Tiffany Tran, KelvinWong, Young Jin Kim, Darren Fong for helping with the field measurement and preliminary data. The authors appreciate the valuable input of Dr. Marnie Dobson and Dr. Peter Schnall at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of California, Irvine for designing the recruitment survey questionnaire. The authors express our thanks to Javier Garcia-Rivas (PhD student at the Public Health Program, University of California, Irvine) for training the field technician on the use of the heart rate monitor. This study is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH): Grant # 5R21OH010196-02. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC/NIOSH.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health