Does shift work make you age faster?
They estimated that 10 years of shift work had the effect of ageing the brain by an extra 6.5 years, based on the results of the cognitive tests. They also concluded that it took five years to recover that level of function after stopping shift work. So is the “graveyard shift” really killing our brain cells?
In fact, those working for more than 15 years on rotating night shifts had a 38% higher risk of dying from heart disease than nurses who only worked during the day. Surprisingly, rotating night shifts were also linked to a 25% higher risk of dying from lung cancer and 33% greater risk of colon cancer death.
Ten years or more of rotating night shift work was associated with 20% decreased odds of healthy aging. This association was consistently observed for the individual component of healthy aging. Overall, the observed association did not differ substantially by age, BMI, and other lifestyle factors.
For ageing employees, night work reduces sleep quality and recovering from demanding shifts takes more time. Based on new research results, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health recommends providing employees over 50 years of age with better opportunities to reduce night shifts and long hours.
Our findings indicate that two days off are not sufficient for full recovery, and thus, at least three rest days, one sleeping day (12 hours) and two full days off-duty (48 hours), are needed.
The stress of shiftwork also can aggravate health conditions, such as heart disease or digestive disorders. How do these hazards occur? Working at night makes it difficult to get enough sleep. Sleep after night work usually is shorter and less refreshing or satisfying than sleep during the normal nighttime hours.
The typical healthy work week consists of 40 hours or less (A 38-hour week is optimal according to a study by time management expert Laura Vanderkam as relayed by Atlassian), a consistent schedule, and an array of workplace systems that set employees up for success.
A shiftworker is at increased risk of health problems, such as digestive upsets, obesity and heart disease, and accidents due to excessive daytime sleepiness.
Scientists say that people who work in manual labour jobs are more at risk of dying early, even though they agree exercise is necessary to keep healthy. Researchers suggest the hours of high-strain repetitive movements involved in manual labour are harsher on the body than the shorter burst of a jog or workout.
Most healthy adult night shift workers, still require the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep despite working non-traditional hours. Though some deem this almost impossible, taking naps, optimizing your sleep environment and considering food/beverage timing are useful strategies to maximize the sleep you do get.
Should I quit my night shift job?
The common stressors that cause people to want to quit shift work include; impact on diet, working against your body clock, weight gain, overall health, family & relationships, sleep, burnout, and a lack of sun exposure. If left unchecked, these stressors can cause lasting implications on your daily life.
keep nightwork to a minimum. Three 8-hour or two 12-hour night shifts are the recommended maximum number of consecutive shifts which should be worked.
Abstract. Sleep deprivation and the consequent circadian clock disruption has become an emergent health question being associated with premature aging and earlier chronic diseases onset. Night-shift work leads to circadian clock misalignment, which is linked to several age-related diseases.
Recent findings: Shift work is associated with considerable impacts on sleep, depressed mood and anxiety, substance use, impairments in cognition, lower quality of life, and even suicidal ideation. Pronounced sleep disturbances frequently underlie the mental health consequences of shift work.
Shift Work Linked to Poorer Working Memory and Slower Mental Processing Speed. Summary: Pooled data reveals shift workers perform worse on tasks associated with attention, working memory, and information processing than non-shift workers.
Night shift work disrupts the body's circadian rhythms, or 24-hour internal “clock” that controls sleep-wake cycles. It increases the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that eating at night, as many nightshift workers do, impairs the body's ability to process sugar, or glucose.
Shift work is linked to poorer working memory and slower mental processing speed, according to Austrian researchers, who warned it may heighten the risk of workplace injuries and errors.
Risks of Working the Night Shift
Night shifts pose health risks by disrupting the body's circadian system, and going against its natural sleep patterns. Without proper self-care, there's the potential of developing health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain.
It was found that: Shift workers with SWSD have lower testosterone levels and experience more severe hypogonadal symptoms compared to daytime workers. The poor sleep habits resulting from SWSD may cause more severe Low T symptoms in non-standard shift workers.
The night shift is difficult physically, but the afternoon shift can be hard on your family and social life. In my last post, I talked about shift workers' preferred shift, which is the day shift, and the implications of that preference on worker satisfaction levels.
How many hours of work a day is unhealthy?
Being in the office for more than 8 hours a day is associated with poorer overall health an with a 40% higher risk of developing heart disease or stress related diseases.
- Decide what time of the day you want to exercise. ...
- Find something you enjoy doing and be consistent. ...
- Stay well hydrated throughout your day. ...
- Pack your lunch and resist the goodies at the nurse's station. ...
- Get plenty of sleep to recharge and de-stress.
“When people are on a shift work-type schedule, their daily energy expenditure is reduced and unless they were to reduce their food intake, this by itself could lead to weight gain,” said Kenneth Wright, director of CU-Boulder's Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory and senior author of the paper.
- take moderate exercise before starting work which may increase your alertness during the shift.
- keep the light bright;
- take regular short breaks during the shift if possible;
- get up and walk around during breaks;
- plan to do more stimulating work at the times you feel most drowsy;
Long hours: A 10-hour workday is a long one, and not every worker has the stamina for it. Plus, working longer hours (more than 10 hours a day) has been shown to have negative impacts on employee health.
Doctor. When it comes to overall physical, mental, and fiscal health, doctors have the highest wellbeing score in America.
The rate at which health deteriorates with age is faster in manual occupations than in non-manual occupations. For many people, work wears out their health. Despite the fact that women live longer than men on average, women around the world report worse health than men until age 60-65.
Asian-Americans top the list at 86.5 years, with Latinos following closely behind at 82.8 years. Third of the five groups are Caucasians, with an average life expectancy of about 78.9 years, followed by Native Americans at 76.9 years. The final group, African Americans, has a life expectancy of 74.6 years.
Long-term health risks
When you are working for 12 hours there is often little time before, during and after your shifts to eat healthy meals or exercise properly. This combined with fatigue and other adverse factors can result in some serious health risks including depression, anxiety and insomnia.
In the end, scientists generally agree that the ideal daily working time is around 6 hours, and more concentrated in the morning.
What is the healthiest shift pattern to work?
In general, clockwise shift rotations should be used (day–evening–night). Ideally, a rotational schedule should include no more than 3 night shifts in a block, with 3 days of recuperation after the night shift work. In general, 8-hour shifts are preferable to 12-hour shifts.
Get enough sleep! This may seem very obvious, but when you are working 12-hour shifts, it's important that you plan your sleep schedule around them. Remember that 8 hours of sleep is ideal, but 6 hours will also do if you're struggling to find time for 8 hours.
Shortened Work Week: In most hospitals, working three 12-hour shifts means four days off each week. The extended break is advantageous if you have a longer commute or require child care. You get less time on the road and more time with your family than those working the traditional 9 to 5.
Working for 12 hours straight is difficult. One of the most significant cons of 12-hour shifts is worker fatigue. Workers may have a difficult time remaining alert throughout their shift and working several long shifts in a row can disrupt sleep.
You've got plenty of time. Plus, the stores are typically less crowded, making your task smoother and easier. Second shift schedules can also be incredibly helpful for those pursuing other life goals, like a second job or education. Having mornings open is perfect for class schedules and other responsibilities.
Dedicate time to sleep: Try to set aside a block of 7–9 hours to dedicate to sleep after a night shift. Have something to eat and drink before you go to bed: Pangs of hunger or thirst may wake you up.
People wouldn't have to work their hardest when they're also raising small children. In the current system, people get an entry level job right after college or other training, usually when they're between 20 and 25. Until recently, that was also the age range during which they were most likely to be starting a family.