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Health behaviours of Australian fly-in, fly-out workers and partners during on-shift and off-shift days: an ecological momentary assessment study
  1. Amanda L Rebar1,
  2. Kristie-Lee Alfrey1,
  3. Benjamin Gardner2,
  4. Corneel Vandelanotte1
  1. 1 School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience, King’s College, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amanda L Rebar; a.rebar{at}


Objectives Fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) work involves long commutes, living on-site for consecutive days and returning home between shifts. This unique type of work requires constant transitioning between the roles and routines of on-shift versus off-shift days. This study aims to examine health behaviour patterns of FIFO workers and FIFO partners during on-shift and off-shift time frames.

Design This study used ecological momentary assessment and multilevel modelling to examine daily health behaviours.

Setting FIFO workers and FIFO partners from across Australia responded to daily online surveys for up to 7 days of on-shift and up to 7 days of off-shift time frames.

Participants Participants included 64 FIFO workers and 42 FIFO worker partners.

Results Workers and partners reported poorer sleep and nutrition quality for on-shift compared with off-shift days. Both workers and partners exercised less, smoked more cigarettes, took more physical health medication and drank less alcohol during on-shift compared with off-shift days.

Conclusions FIFO organisations should consider infrastructure changes and support services to enhance opportunities for quality sleep and nutrition, sufficient exercise, moderate alcohol consumption and cigarette cessation for workers on-site and their partners at home.

  • long-distance commuting
  • exercise
  • sleep
  • smoking
  • alcohol

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  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Contributors K-LA, CV, BG and ALR helped conceive of the idea of the study design, collected the data and provided intellectual content for the manuscript. ALR conducted the data analysis, assisted in interpreting the findings and provided intellectual content for the manuscript. All authors were involved in drafting the manuscript and revising it critically for important intellectual content, and gave approval of the final version to be published.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests The not-for-profit organisation LIVIN Australia donated incentives for participants in the study, but had no influence on the study procedures, data collection, analyses or dissemination. ALR receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. CV receives funding from the National Heart Foundation of Australia.

  • Ethics approval All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All study procedures were approved a priori by the Central Queensland University’s Human Research Ethics Committee, approval number H16/09-269.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Extra data are available by emailing the corresponding author (ALR).

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