Does a full moon affect worker behavior and injury rates at work?
Who doesn’t love the full moon, right? It’s so beautiful to look at. It lights up the night sky with a mystic, milky light splashing over the stars that seem to carry its light further and further across the earth’s land. It makes me stop and think about the beauty of life, the wonders, and it makes me feel thankful and full.
It’s likely you feel the same way when a full moon lights up the sky in your life. So maybe we’re on to something here, that the full moon makes you feel certain things which in turn affects your mood. Can this be taken a step further to even say the full moon affects your behavior? Let’s explore…
The first indicator that a full moon does affect behavior is the derivation of the word “lunatic”. “Luna” is obviously relating to the Greek and Roman term “lunar”. The Greeks and Romans also believed that the fluid in the brain was directly related to tidal patterns of the sea, which could be affected on nights where the moon was particularly full and could, therefore, have a heightened gravitational pull thus affecting behavior.
Studies also suggest that there a few notable correlations between human behavior and a full moon. For example, there are trends in the full moon and higher emergency room visits, higher rates of surgical mistakes, and higher rates of crime.
We’ve heard a lot of folks mention “oh, it must be the full moon” when coworkers seem rowdy or distracted, children are particularly rambunctious in a classroom, or pets seem to be off the wall. In fact, pets seem to be the most susceptible to behavior changes with the full moon, hence giving birth to the cliché of the wolf howling each time a full moon comes out.
Could it be more of a placebo effect? Science suggests that we may seem distracted and careless at work during the full moon because we know the full moon is coming, and therefore we can attribute abnormal thoughts or behavior to its impending presence…but we may just be in a conscious cycle of feeling abnormal when the full moon comes out, because the full moon is out. Make sense?
But ultimately, we can’t conclude that these trends confirm that a full moon actually affects our behavior. It’s likely to affect the mood or feelings of certain individuals, and it might even make them act a certain way…it’s hard to gauge because every mind is different. If you find that your workplace seems a little harder to manage, or workers seem more careless or reckless during the full moon, take this into account and opt to manipulate it by hosting a training the day before. Hell, you could even play into it by encouraging workers to be extra safety today because “it’s a full moon, and I know how you guys get”. Maybe entertaining the idea that a full moon affects your worker’s behavior can help them overcome that by taking extra safety precautions.
I’m curious, does the full moon affect your behavior or mood? It affects my mood and feelings, as for behavior, I can’t quite say. Let us know in the comments!