Causes and Consequences of Physiological Stress of Women Involved in Tea Plucking Activity

The present study was conducted in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh (India) to study the physiological workload of respondents engaged in plucking tea leaves and identify the major causes and consequences of physiological stress. Majority of the respondents had ectomorph body with average physical fitness. During plucking tea leaves, the body of women workers deviate from natural alignment due to varying height of tea bushes. Hence, a continuous awkward standing posture, adverse environment and working conditions increase drudgery and decrease productivity of women workers. The change in environment temperature caused significantly higher physiological stress to the workers. At average working heart rate values during complete cycle of plucking, the total cardiac cost of work (TCCW-1166.21,108/92.62) and physiological cost of work (PCW=21.43, 21.90 beats) of the respondents in 25-35 and 35-45 years age category showed unacceptable physiological stress of higher workload and fatigue. The regression analysis of physical characteristics that is age, height, weight, body mass index, physical fitness index with heart rate showed that better the physical health lesser is the stress of workload on health of workers.

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Conference Paper, Humanizing Work and Work Environment (HWWE), April 11-14, 2004, IIT Powaii, Mumbai

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