Researchers at Brigham’s & Woman’s Hospital Sleep Institute have completed a cohort study of the habits and effects of shift work on people. While it was expected that the result findings would show that there was a broad disruption to normal sleep cycles, what was striking were the new findings on how working the second shift can impact your health. It has been directly connected to raising your risk of diabetes and obesity. Back problems are also tied to obesity so it’s often recommended to see a Chiropractor.
Researchers are now working to determine the best way to counteract this effect by looking at everything from sleep patterns to lifestyle habits that can be modified.
10 pounds a year
The study showed that the disruption in the natural circadian rhythms of the body would lead to an average weight gain of 10 pounds per year. Diet and exercise may not always be helpful because the interruption to the body cycles by working the second shift means a hormonal disruption. This hormonal disruption can then change all of the metabolic cycles in the body involved with digestion, nutrition and immune safety.
Diabetes and Obesity risk for all
The biggest cause for concern is that working on the night shift raises your risk for developing diabetes and obesity. The normal recommendations for good sleep hygiene, diet and exercise haven’t been studied for how they should be modified for shift workers. New work is looking at the best recommendations to make for swing shift workers to control their risk for these diseases. The increased risk also carries with it a tremendous impact, as both diabetes and obesity come with a path of increasing complications that are expensive for the person, and the workforce.
Most problematic for one group
The biggest concern of the research findings was the identification of one group that is most at risk. African-American women who work the night shift are most likely to develop diabetes faster than workers of any other race. This will inform the coming recommendations about ways to handle shift work while reducing your risk of having an ill effect from just going out to earn your living.
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