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Shift work is unhealthy

Shift work has been associated with a host of health problems. The evidence is clear that getting enough sleep is important for health, and that sleep should be at night for best effect”

Shift workers getting too little sleep at the wrong time of day may be increasing their risk of diabetes and obesity, according to researchers. The team is calling for more measures to reduce the impact of shift working following the results of its study.

Changes to normal sleep meant the body struggled to control sugar levels. Some participants even developed early symptoms of diabetes within weeks.

Participants in the study started with 10 hours' sleep at night. This was followed by three weeks of disruption to their sleep and body clocks. The length of the day was extended to 28 hours, creating an effect similar to a full-time flyer constantly getting jet lag. Participants were allowed only 6.5 hours' sleep in the new 28-hour day, equivalent to 5.6 hours in a normal day. They also lived in dim…

capitalism makes you sick

Long working hours may raise the risk of mental decline and possibly dementia, research suggests
The study found that those working more than 55 hours a week had poorer mental skills than those who worked a standard working week.
Lead researcher Dr Marianna Virtanen, from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, said: "The disadvantages of overtime work should be taken seriously."

It is not known why working long hours might have an adverse effect on the brain. However, the researchers say key factors could include increased sleeping problems, depression, an unhealthy lifestyle and a raised risk of cardiovascular disease, possibly linked to stress. The effects were cumulative, the longer the working week was the worse the test results were. Employees with long working hours also had shorter sleeping hours, reported more symptoms of depression and used more alcohol than those with normal working hours.

Professor Mika Kivimäki said "It is particularly important to exami…

work causes cancer

Further to this earlier post that health inequalities between rich and poor have widened since Labour came to office in 1997 , American research shows that night-shift workers, and their number is growing by about 3% per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , are known to be at higher risk for accidents, sleep disorders and psychological stress due to daytime demands, such as family and other obligations, that interfere with sleeping. Now scientific evidence suggests their disrupted circadian rhythms may also cause a kind of biological revolt, raising their likelihood of obesity, cancer, reproductive health problems, mental illness and gastrointestinal disorders.

The evidence for an increased cancer risk is so compelling that, in December, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a unit of the World Health Organization, declared that shift work is "probably carcinogenic to humans."

*Night-shift workers have a 40% to 50% increased risk of heart disease …