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shift workWork in a hospital, company, factory (e.g., automobile, petrochemical or textile factory), or other business that is open and operating 24/7 or hours outside of the usual “9 to 5” business hours.
Shift workers suffer increased risk of fatigue-related accidents, and an increased risk of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular disease, infertility, and insomnia; for example, on-the-job fatigue and drowsiness in shift workers was linked to the Challenger space shuttle explosion. SW may be related to an increased in TGs (1.26 mmol/L (112 mg/dL) vs 1.03 mmol/L (91 mg/dL) in normal controls); the cause of this increase is uncertain, but may be related to stress, disturbed circadian rhythm, or the result of night snacking with less efficient removal of TGs. 20% of workers adapt poorly to SW, as it requires abrupt changes in the circadian rhythm; diabetes and epilepsy are exacerbated by SW, and autonomic dysfunction is common.
A staffing arrangement in which some employees work during the day and others in the evening or at night. Shift work is a common method of scheduling used in many industries to maximize productivity over a 24-hr day and in health care, where patients' needs may arise at any time of the day or night. A great number of persons work regularly at night, either on a permanent or rotating schedule. In most of these workers, adaptation to the altered work schedule is imperfect; sleep disturbances and other medical and psychosocial problems have often been found in shift workers. Among other problems, many night-time or rotating shift workers often have family obligations during the day, which compromise their ability to obtain adequate rest before or after work.
See also: work