Irregular shift scheduling could be bad for health

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Frequently changing shift schedules might contribute to poor health, sleep disturbances and even substance abuse, says a new study on work schedules and personal/personnel well-being.

Many people who work shifts - as opposed to a 9-to-5 job - don't have a static work time, according to the study. They will clock in for a week of night shifts, then a week of afternoon shifts, which can lead to serious health problems.

Authors of the report suggest that forward-rotating shifts would be much less detrimental to the staff. Clare Bambra, lead author and lecturer at Durham University in England, describes a forward-rotating shift as "a shift in the morning, then the afternoon and then maybe a night shift later." The report will be published in the May issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.