Personal lives invade the work environment and work lives invade personal life. That statement rings true to most people these days. However, it takes on special significance in environments with multiple shifts and rotating shift work.
You hear concerns such as:
- “I can’t get enough sleep.”
- “I have no social life.”
- “There goes another ball game for my child I have to miss.”
Shift workers tend to have increased risks for health problems such as:
- Sleep apnea
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, found that people with more exposure to artificial light generate less melatonin; the hormone associated with suppression of cancer-causing tumors.
For some, working grave yard shifts may be their only option, yet their body may be hard wired to function during the day. Others who have rotating shift schedules may have difficulty making any plans or sleeping at all. These challenges become unique to these environments. At best these circumstances affect productivity and at worst these circumstances impact safety, relationships and self esteem. Many of these employees experience special family challenges including divorce because of the work environment. In fact, in the groundbreaking study by University of Nebraska-Lincoln they found that risk of divorce increases almost 60 percent when just one spouse works shift work.