Surviving and Thriving on shifts: Mitigating the risks of shift working



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There's a parallel study that actually looked at shift workers and said, what is it, that makes the difference between these people who can survive shift? Well, and it came down to lifestyle. So they looked at nurses and, and they have particular shift patterns but they also looked at firefighters who actually sleep when they're potentially on shift, but wake up and they noticed similar correlations and, and that is, um, they looked at their, their lifestyle so people who were green for good, um, had healthy lifestyles, people who are ok, had normal lifestyles and people were, you know, red for bad, er, lifestyles looked at them and said, how does that impact on their, um, on my health, looking specifically at the hazard ratio of type two diabetes for people who had shifted for greater than 10 years. And people who never shifted and people, as you can imagine who never shifted, who had an ok lifestyle, um, had a reasonable risk of having diabetes. But people who shift work, as you can imagine have an increased risk. So their risk almost doubles. Yeah. And then people who have unhealthy lifestyles, even if they don't shift work have an increased risk and it's even greater. If you're a shift worker, there are no surprises there. And then similarly, if you have a good, uh, lifestyle, you'd expect your risk to go down. But have a look at this one, the healthy shift workers, they actually have a better, um, er, health, um, parameters than someone who's never shift worked, who has a normal lifestyle. Yeah. So it's better than someone who's never shift worked but has a normal lifestyle. So, the key thing to take home from this is if you have got a healthy lifestyle, it protects you better than, even if you've never shift worked before. So you can mitigate the risks of shift working.