An active transition from offshore work to family life: Activities that may impact recovery

Suzanne L. Merkus, Maaike A. Huysmans, Kari Anne Holte, Willem Van Mechelen, Allard J. Van Der Beek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Night shift workers, particularly those working offshore, take a long time to recover from their shifts. The activities that shift workers, such as offshore employees, pursue during their leisure time can influence the process of recovery from work-related fatigue, but little is known about these leisure time activities. OBJECTIVE: To explore what leisure time activities are pursued that may be relevant to recovery for offshore employees. METHODS: Sixty-one offshore working family men-20 night shift, 16 swing shift, and 25 day shift workers-reported on six predefined activities for 14 days following their offshore tours. Generalized estimating equations analysis was used to explore trends in the data. RESULTS: From the start of the free period, almost all participants were involved in household chores and childcare; these activities declined over the 14 days. Throughout the study period, participants actively pursued social, volunteer, and leisure time physical activities. Work-related activities were pursued by half of the participants at some time during the 14 days. Night and swing shift workers were more physically active than day workers throughout the first 14 days of the free period. CONCLUSIONS: The transition from offshore work to family life can be characterised as active. The activities engaged in by this sample of employees are likely to promote their recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Shift work
  • activities
  • night work, compressed and extended schedule
  • recovery activities

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