JET LAG AND THE CONCORDE-SST AND BOEING-747
PERGAMENT, LEWIS NEIL
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Jet lag is the popular terminology for a variety of physiological and psychological maladies which effect airline passengers. It occurs when more than four time zones are rapidly crossed between two points on the planet Earth. It is usually associated with a general feeling of tiredness and not being in tune with the new time zone, one has landed in. This disruption of most bodily and psychological rhythmic functions called circadian dysrhythmia is manifested in many different ways. The present study was designed to compare the disruption caused by jet flight in two different aircraft, the Concorde-SST and Boeing-747. In order to compare the two aircrafts' effects, two self-report objective tests were used to measure sleepiness and mood.;The instruments utilized for measuring these two effects were the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS), the Profile of Mood States (POMS), and a newly created Jet Lag Questionnaire. Subjects were asked to follow prescribed daily schedules for four days, starting immediately after takeoff. The measures were completed seven times after an initial baseline or control administration. The two groups were comprised of 15 passengers in each aircraft type, who were flying from New York to London on business.;It was hypothesized and concluded that crossing time zones at a greater speed (via the SST) does in fact lessen aspects of Jet Lag as measured by the SSS and POMS, if in fact these instruments were measuring some Jet Lag factor. T scores and a repeated measures analysis of variance Anova indicated that significant differences (p < .05 level) exist on the POMS Fatigue, Vigor, Tension, and Confusion scales between both groups in the expected directions. Sleepiness as measured by the SSS was also significantly greater for the 747 group. The SST group did suffer from the effects of Jet Lag but not as severely nor for as long a period of time. Both groups compared closely on group biographical data collected from all subjects, and no significant differences were found between groups at the baseline testing session.;Future research should be directed toward measurement of physiological data collected from similar groups flying equal distances on the SST and the B. 747. Sleep records and body temperature readings would be two appropriate physiological measures for future investigation.;Based on the findings of this study and that of Richards and Jacobson (1978), the SST may be a partial solution to the problems of Jet Lag as measured by the SSS and POMS.
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