Study shows increased risks for shift-workers
WRITTEN BY: Stanley Jackson
Working in shifts, particularly night shifts, leaves employees more susceptible to adverse health effects, a recent study shows.
The British Medical Journal study calculated that people who worked in shifts are 23 percent more likely to have a heart attack than their nine-to-five peers, as well as a five percent increase on the likelihood of having a stroke.
The team of researchers from Canada and Norway found that these conditions, as well as several others, were more common in shift workers than in those with more traditional working hours.
Dan Hackam, associate professor at Western University, London Ontario in Canada, said the problems arising from shift work could be attributed to the sleeping and dietary problems that shift workers tended to have.
“Night shift workers generally don’t have a defined rest period. They are in a state of perpetual nervous system activation which is especially bad for conditions such as obesity and cholesterol.
“Avoiding permanent night shifts, limiting shifts to a maximum of 12 hours and ensuring workers have a minimum of two full nights sleep between day and night shifts are simple, practical solutions that can help people to cope with shift work.”
The BMJ study made the following recommendations:
· No more than 48 hours a week averaged over a 17 week period
· A minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours
· A minimum weekly rest period of 24 or 48 consecutive hours averaged over 14 days
· A minimum of 20 minutes rest in any work period of more than 6 hours
· A maximum of 8 hours night work every 24 hours averaged over a 17 week period
· Free health assessments for night workers
· Paid annual leave of at least 4 weeks
Working odd hours leads to obvious problems in terms of lifestyle. Sleep loss, isolation and disconnection to society are all problems considered more prevalent in shift workers. Even so, the primary issues remain physiological: being awake at odd or irregular hours fights with our biological rhythms.
The problem though may be with working expectations themselves. The average working week continues to rise, and in the UK the average full time worker is now completing a 43 week, which is still rising, due to the demanding and hyper-competitive job market.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”