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Health Disadvantages of Shift Workers

night shift worker

In recent work pattern, it is visible that people perform shift work, which also includes night shift. It is common in the field of Informational Technology and Medical.

Shift work is work that takes place on a schedule outside the traditional 9 am – 5 pm daily. It can involve evening or night shifts, early morning shifts, and rotating shifts. Recent researches state that there is a strong evidence that people who are performing shift work may develop few health complications like- Obesity, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Peptic Ulcer, Impaired digestion, Insomnia.

How it affects the health?

Medical experts believe that shift work affects both physiological and psychological health. Generally, if a person is being awake at an odd time, their biological rhythm will get disturbed and disrupts our inner body clock.

Health Risks-  Shift workers may develop some short-term and some long-term health risk for performing shift work for a longer period. Let us know the possible short-term health risk-

  1. Gastrointestinal problem- nausea, diarrhea, Vomiting, poor digestion.
  2. Insomnia
  3. Decreased quality of life.

There is a strong chance to develop long-term health risk if the short-term risks are not taken care of.

  1. Cardiovascular Disease– Researchers say that especially night shift workers may develop conditions like high cholesterol and hypertension. Chances of heart attacks are exceeding in shift workers, the reason mostly gets into junk food in the night because of unavailability of healthy food.
  2. Diabetes & Obesity- Night shift workers are prone to consume junk food which is a contributing factor for developing diabetes followed by obesity. Lack of exercise and poor diet can lead to obesity.
  3. Depression- Usually shift workers suffer from bad quality of sleep. Disturbed sleep is directly proportional to stress and depression. High level of stress can lead to depression.
  4. Poor fertility and difficulty in pregnancy– Shift work can hamper the reproductive system to some extent. It has been shown that chances of miscarriage, complications during pregnancy, a premature baby can be the results of shift work in women.

Here are a few diet tips for shift workers;

  • Eat more protein, fewer carbs.
  • Avoid sugar and sugary beverages.
  • Do not have coffee before you go to sleep, try to take 4 hours of your usual sleeping time.
  • Packed food from home- It is a challenge for people who work on the night shift to get their box from home. To reduce the chances of health risk which generates from shift work, getting healthy snacks and dinner from home is essential. Snacks can be nuts, sprouts, chirva, whole wheat bread sandwich, etc.
  • People who follow night shift work they face challenges to perform any exercise routine, due to their complicated daily routine, their metabolism also slows down. Hence, performing home based exercises, walking, cycling can help them to lead an active lifestyle.

People who work in night shift should get into an exercise routine. Initially, they can start with light exercises when they come home. It is assumed that performing rotational shifts in the week is healthier than complete night shift work, because, in a rotational shift, the circadian clock of the body is not affected like a night shift.

If you want to know more about it then write to us at so that our nutritionists can get back to you.


References (n.d.). features-shift-work.



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