Evaluation of Physiological Metrics as Real-Time Measurement of Physical Fatigue in Construction Workers: State-of-the-Art Review

Shahnawaz Anwer (Corresponding Author), Heng Li, Maxwell Fordjour Antwi-Afari, Waleed Umer, Arnold Yu Lok Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Physical fatigue is a major health and safety-related problem among construction workers. Many previous studies relied on interviews and/or questionnaire to assess physical fatigue in construction workers. However, these traditional methods are not only time-consuming but also limited by recall bias. To overcome these limitations, many researchers have used physiological metrics (e.g., heart rate, heart-rate variability, skin temperature, electromyographic activity, and jerk metrics) to measure real-time physical fatigue. Although physiological metrics have shown promising results for real-time assessments of physical fatigue, no state-of-the-art review has been conducted to summarize various physiological metrics in measuring physical fatigue among construction workers. Therefore, the current state-of-the art review aims to summarize existing evidence regarding the use of physiological metrics to measure physical fatigue of construction workers in real-time. This review used systematic searches to identify relevant studies and critically appraised the application of physiological metrics in measuring physical fatigue of construction workers. First, it summarizes the application of various physiological metrics for real-time measurement of physical fatigue in construction workers. Second, various wearable sensing technologies for measuring physiological metrics are identified. Third, this review discusses the potential challenges for applying physiological metrics to measure physical fatigue. Finally, future research directions to advance the development and adoption of various physiological metrics to monitor and mitigate physical fatigue in construction workers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number03121001
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management

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