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Relationship of maximum aerobic power output to productivity and absenteeism of East African sugar cane workers
  1. C. T. M. Davies1
  1. aUniversity Medical Faculty, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

    Abstract

    Davies, C. T. M. (1973).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,30, 146-154. Relationship of maximum aerobic power output to productivity and absenteeism of East African sugar cane workers. The relationship of the physiological responses to laboratory exercise on an upright bicycle ergometer and predicted maximum aerobic power output (V̇O2max) to daily and season output has been investigated in 78 cane cutters aged 18 to 50 years working on the Kilombero sugar estate, Tanzania.

    The results showed that the (V̇O2max) was independent of absolute productivity in terms of kilotons of cane cut per season but positively correlated (r = + 0·46) with daily output. There was a small but significant (r = - 0·32, P < 0·001) negative association of V̇O2max with the number of days that an individual voluntarily absented himself from the cane fields. The importance of these findings to the selection and training of personnel for the cane-cutting industry are discussed. It was suggested that the industry might consider the introduction of a simple exercise (step) test together with a medical examination and simple anthropometric measurements at the time of recruitment of workers at the beginning of the season.

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    Footnotes

    • 1 On leave of absence from: MRC Environmental Physiology Research Unit, London School of Hygiene, Keppel Street, London WC1, to which address correspondence should be sent.

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