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Revealed: 'FIFO lifestyle' hits hard at home

FEELING THE HEAT: New CQUniversity study to tackle hard issues on FIFO lifestyle.
FEELING THE HEAT: New CQUniversity study to tackle hard issues on FIFO lifestyle. Blainey Woodham

PLENTY of local families have to deal with the reality of standing by a partner who needs to work away from home to make ends meet.

Often the struggle and pain felt by the men and women who fly-in and fly-out from mining and construction sites across the country is overlooked because of the good money they earn.

But in an attempt to shed some light on the health and well-being of FIFO workers, in a new study, researchers from CQUniversity are "taking a unique personal-level approach" to figure out how FIFO workers feel and what makes them tick.

Preliminary results revealed that 74% of workers involved in the survey reported "mostly having good days" but on the flip side, 11% of FIFO workers reported feeling "overwhelmed with stress".

"Early results also show that survey respondents reported 'needing but not seeking' mental health support (6%) more often than they reported 'needing and finding' mental health support (3%)," the research found.

CQUniversity Psychology undergraduate Kristie-Lee Alfrey said her research would be made up of FIFO workers from around Australia.

"We will be assessing daily health behaviours and FIFO work roster patterns and how these correspond with the well-being of population and their partners," Ms Alfrey said.

"Much of the current research is based solely around the FIFO worker. We aim to gain insight from FIFO partners also.

"There is a general calling for further research to be conducted into FIFO areas, specifically, roster lengths, health behaviour and FIFO relationships. Our study lays the foundation for further research into these areas."

She said the insight gained from her research into the "FIFO lifestyle" would provide a wealth of information from not only the health side of things, but also about the "dynamics" of what FIFO workers go through on a daily basis with regards to their loved ones and rosters.

"The findings of this study will fill a gap in the literature in regards to how the health behaviours and well-being of this population differ day-to-day and whether roster has anything to do with that," Ms Alfrey said.

"On a broader scope, this study will be beneficial to the wider community by providing data to inform future longitudinal studies and intervention efforts."

If you would like to be apart of the study contact, fifolifestylestudy@gmail.com or visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/CquFIFO.

Topics:  fifo gladstone gladstone region



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