Shift work may be very common in today’s workplaces and across all professions. But while shift work may have become a part of everyone’s lives, it is extremely harmful to your health, according to a study by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China. Specifically, it was found that shift work was closely linked to an increase in the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The reason why shift work poses so many dangerous risks is that working in shifts could disrupt the normal sleep-wake cycle which could increase stress on the heart. The study, published in the journal Occupational Medicine, showed shift workers were 13 per cent more likely to develop coronary heart disease than daytime workers. Not just this, for every year spent working in shifts, there was a one per cent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease. Sadly, there are many other risks involved when you do shift work. If you work in shifts, here are the diseases you could suffer from:
Obesity: Studies have shown that people working in night shifts could be at a greater risk of obesity. It has been observed that, as compared to people who work in normal schedules, people who work regularly in night shifts burn lesser calories throughout the day. This is mainly because people who work the night shift, eat and work at night when their bodies are biologically prepared to sleep. This leads to weight gain.
Vitamin D deficiency: Those work in night shifts often don’t venture out during the day, preferring to sleep then, and this is why they don’t get enough sunlight and Vitamin D. This could lead to vitamin D3 deficiency which could weaken your bones and your immune system.
DNA Damage: Working in irregular shifts could damage the structure of the DNA which could lead to diseases like cancer and diabetes as well as those affecting the pulmonary system.
Constipation and other digestive problems: When you sleep and eat at irregular times, your digestive system goes for a toss. Sleeping and eating are interlinked and when one is affected, the other gets affected too. This is why people who sleep during the day and work at night experience problems like indigestion, acidity, bloating and others.
Sleep disorders: Shift work can mess up with your circadian clock or body clock which regulates sleep patterns. This is why those who work in shifts suffer from problems like insomnia and fatigue very frequently.