Nation fatigued by new energy crisis

15 June 2018
New research revealed
Inadequate sleep, meals missed and a lack of exercise are sapping Australians of the energy needed for everyday activity and it’s impacting on productivity and the national economy, according to research backed by the University of Sydney Business School.

A recent survey conducted by the School and Sydney based human performance firm, Energx, found that on average, Australian women feel that they have the energy for themselves and important activities on just four out of every ten days.

Men feel that they have sufficient energy on just five of every ten days.

The results of the survey of 1,200 people have been published in a report titled “Why are we so tired”?

Dr Stefan Volk, a senior lecturer in School’s discipline of International Business, described the survey results as “depressing”.

“This report shows that Australia is experiencing a human energy crisis. One of the symptoms of this is an epidemic of sleep deprivation,” said Dr Volk. “Sleep allows our brain to regenerate and our body to revitalize. Unfortunately, in the corporate world there is still a widespread perception that sleep is a waste of time and that people who sleep less are more productive.”

“Respondents in our survey reported having at least 7 hours of sleep on only 6 out of 10 days and of waking feeling refreshed on just 4 out of 10 days,” he said.

This recent study comes in the wake of earlier research, which found that the mental performance of people who had been awake for more than 18 hours was equivalent to that of those with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 - the legal limit for driving in Australia.

After 19 hours, performance dropped to levels equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1.

The Energx/Business School survey also questioned participants about their eating habits and found that the majority skipped meals on more than 3 out of 10 days and ate the recommended serving of fruit and vegetables on only about 5 out of 10 days.

“Food provides glucose and the healthier the food, the longer we have a sufficient blood glucose level after a meal,” said Dr Volk. “Glucose is often referred to as brain fuel and our mental performance suffers when we don’t have enough of it in our blood.”

The survey went on to question participants about other sources of energy not usually measured.

“Many of us are unaware of how much our energy can be affected by things outside the physical,” said Founder and “Chief Energiser” at Energx, Sean Hall. “Our survey took a more holistic approach and included things like passions, strengths, self-talk, relationships, mindset, goal setting and how we manage distractions.”

Created by Energx, this holistic approach is called “energy intelligence” and it allows people to simply understand their current energy levels and then practically teach the skills required to increase the quantity and quality of energy needed to lead an energised, meaningful life.

“Ultimately it is our energy intelligence that determines our ability to be and feel successful,” Mr Hall said. “An exciting application of this thinking is in the business context. Energx and the Business School share the belief that the most valuable asset in any organisation is the collective energy of its people.”

The question isn’t are your people depleted, the real question is by how much and what impact is this having on your business today,” he concluded.

Visit Energx to download a copy of the report ‘Why Are We So Tired? Australia’s Human Energy Crisis.’