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Research work on the study of chronotype of the population of la Llangosta

Veronica Aguilar and Raquel Pinteño, from the INS Marina, presented the research project "Study on chronotype of the inhabitants of la Llagosta".

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Research work on the study of chronotype of the population of la Llangosta

As a part of the "Programme to the research support of high school", the students Veronica Aguilar and Raquel Pinteño, from the INS Marina, have prepared their research work on chronotype of the inhabitants of la Llagosta, under the scientific supervision of Gemma Castaño and Lucas Salas, researchers from the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), an ISGlobal allied center, and mentoring by Anabel Giménez. This program of the Catalan Department of Education is leaded to certain high school students that can develop their research mentored by the tutor of the high school and, additionally, by a researcher from a associated center with the Catalan Association of Research Institutions (ACER). The researchers taught the methodology for the collection and the treatment of the information.

What is a chronotype?

Chronotype is a factor that reflects the level of activity at all times of the day, so every human being has his own chronotype. We can be divided into three types:

  • Morning or "lark": these people are more active in the morning and usually go to bed too early.
  • Intermediate: the most frequent category in a population. They are people who are active in both, the morning and the afternoon.
  • Evening or "owls": people who, often, are up very late and like to be awake late into the night.

The health of people may be affected as a result of a change in schedule or working night shifts, among other factors. These alterations may be due to reduction in the production of the melatonin hormone, associated with exposure to the light. The consequences of this alteration may include insomnia or drowsiness, fatigue, stress, cardiovascular disease, development of certain cancers (prostate, breast). People with different chronotypes might respond differently to changes in schedule form.

The students adapted a questionnaire (the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire-MCTQ) in order to determine the chronotypes of the population of the la Llagosta, taking into account a number of factors related to their work schedule or lifestyle. 60 people, divided into three groups (youth, adults and seniors) answered the questionnaire, consisting of 58 questions.

The conclusion of the research was that the dominant chronotype in the town of la Llagosta is morning or “lark”, headed by the elderly, followed by adults and youth. The work has been published in the blogsite Revista del Marina.

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Image (source): Blog Revista del Marina


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