An extensive study conducted among Hospital Nurses in USA, says that rotating night shift work schedule is not Good for health. I read the couple of pages long study findings and am going to summarize that for you.
The study findings can be summed up as: Rotating Night shift work schedule is not good for one’s health. And such a work schedule has been consistently associated with higher risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. This is due to the disruption in circadian rhythm (A circadian rhythm is a roughly 24 hour cycle in the physiological processes of living beings, including plants, animals etc. circadian rhythms are internally generated by the body. Although external factors such as sunlight and temperature do affect them.). The findings in a way, strengthen the 2007 World Health Organization study which classified night shift work as a probable carcinogen (Cancer causing factor or agent) due to circadian disruption.
What is Rotating Night Shift Work?
Although the extensive study, which included about 75000 participants (Nurses who have to work in different shifts), defined rotating night shift work in different manners, so as to find the broad effect; still one can understand the rotating night shift work as one where one has to work at least three nights per month in addition to days or evenings in that month. The study found that the hazards of such rotating night shifts on the person’s health and longevity increase with increasing frequency of such rotation and the years for which the person has to undertake such rotating night shift work.
To conclude, the study applies to both men and women; and is not profession centric. The choice of Nurses as the participants simply emanates from the fact that people in this profession do have rotating night shift schedule. Hence, if possible try to have minimum rotating shifts. If possible take a day job with a uniform work schedule.