Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)


Construction Management

Document Type



Demands at work are associated with an increased risk of cardio vascular diseases, but little is known about its underlying connection. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of physical and mental tasks that induced stress, on Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Another aim was to observe the trends in subjective workload ratings in conjunction with the physiological response of the heart and also to assess the comfort level of the participants while wearing the heart rate monitor and performing tasks. Heart rate was recorded while at rest and while performing the tasks. Subjective workload ratings were obtained from NASA-TLX and the comfort scores from a comfort questionnaire for each task. The power spectral components HF, LF, LF/HF and the time domain RMSSD, were used as the components of HRV in the analysis. The results indicated that all the components of HRV examined were sensitive to physical and mental demands. The HF and RMSSD components decreased with increase in demands from the baseline values. The LF and the LF/HF ratio increased with increase in demands. Overall results indicated reduction in HRV when demanding physical and mental tasks were performed. Subjective workload ratings changed in accordance with the physiological response. Subjective workload rating was high for both the tasks. Overall comfort score indicated that the participants were comfortable while wearing the heart rate monitor and performing the tasks. The evidence from this study suggested that these simulated work factors (physical and mental demands) influence risk factors that may increase risk for CVDs in work places. It is recommended that future research be conducted in the field to quantify HRV and the workplace/tasks be redesigned to reduce excessive physical and mental demands.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Ikuma, Laura H.