Health Effects of a Shift Worker

Shift work basically refers to evening shifts, overnight or shifts that are designated by the employer. Shift work is commonly found in food service industries, health services, call centers etc.,

Working in shifts has its own difficulties that set it apart from the regular working hours. However, working in shifts create potential productive advantages, it also has many risks. The shift work can increase the risk of illness and affect the overall health of the employees.  Some of the serious problems that occur because of shift work are sleep disturbance or excessive sleepiness, depression, high risk of stress levels, heart diseases and stroke.

Regardless of the shift work timings, the workers can still stay healthy by following few simple steps.

  • As shift workers are sleep deprived, to cope us with this disorder create a quiet and dark atmosphere during the sleep time to get sound sleep.
  • The appetite for high calorie food goes up while working in shifts, resulting in high possibility for heart disease and diabetes. To overcome this, eat small high protein meals often. Avoid snacks and junk food to be saved from weight gain as well.
  • The possible risk of accidents at work place for overnight shift worker is 50% high than compared to the worker working in regular working hours. To avoid this scenario ask for help while lifting or doing something risky while working in the shift. While on shift the worker tends to get tired, so take breaks during those hours.  You tend to get tired.
  • Working in shifts cannot be done by everyone. However if the shift worker wants to tolerate the hours, the worker has to make sure he exercises as per the need and eat nutritious food.
  • The worker should get enough sleep to stay alert on the job and be healthy and safe.




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