May 25, 2016 08:18
Workers pulling late shifts are twice as prone to depression as people working from nine to five, a study finds.
A team of researchers led by Noh Myung-sook at Busan Adventist Hospital found that one in 10 people who work 24-hour shifts feel depressed for more than two weeks out of every year. That is twice as much as workers who work regular hours.
The researchers found that depression is linked to suicidal thoughts, stress, sleep patterns and physical labor. Workers pulling 24-hour shifts tend to have jobs that are more physically demanding than those working nine to five, and many complained about insomnia due to changes in their biorhythm that resulted in increased stress levels.
"If a person's natural rhythm is destroyed due to irregular hours, mental and physical health can deteriorate and cause depression, decreasing work efficiency overall," Noh said.
A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine last year showed that people who work more than five years of 24-hour shifts face higher risks of cardiovascular diseases and death.
Noh said employers should ensure that workers on 24-hour shifts get some rest during work hours and provide the necessary space at work where they can catch 40 winks.
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