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Sanna Kinnunen & Anne Mäkikangas

Associations between vigor, exhaustion and recovery during the workweek

The purpose of this study was to investigate how vigor and exhaustion are experienced during the work week and what kinds of associations there are between these experiences and recovery. A total of 256 care and service sector employees filled a diary questionnaire and data were analyzed using both variable-centered (Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance) and person-centered (Growth Mixture Modeling) methods. Vigor and exhaustion showed a strong negative inter-dependence (r = -.66) but by applying a person-centered analysis (GMM) we were able to differentiate three groups, showing variations in the level of vigor and exhaustion. The groups were constantly vigorous (n = 194), concurrently vigorous and tired (= 30) and exhausted (n = 28). Constantly vigorous employees were well recovered from work strain during the whole week whereas employees in the exhausted group recovered poorly. Those who were both vigorous and tired reported better recovery at the end of the week. Overall, the results indicate that typically vigor and exhaustion are exclusive but it is possible to experience them concurrently. Recovery was associated with well-being at work, implying that stress management interventions should improve employees' possibilities for recovery.

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