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August 14, 2012


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Pat G

? Shift workers could also be educated about lifestyle factors that could contribute to medical problems including disrupted sleep patterns, eating habits, domestic and emotional issues, psychological isolation, and dependence on chemical stimulants or sedatives.??

As a shift worker I have to ask if you are joking about that? It reminds me of the story of a research project to find out why some poor cannot keep a job; when the researches discovered that most of them did not have the money for alarm clocks the researches offered to stop the study and use the research money to buy every subject/participant an alarm clock. Unfortunately they were not permitted to solve the problem that way because that would invalidate the research and would also interfere with the free market.

I, and all my co-workers are well educated (virtually everyone has a BA/BSC etc and some have MAs,) already about disrupted sleep patterns but we can't do anything much to prevent it. We are similarly well aware of nutrition and psychological and social isolation but again there is litte we can do to avoid these problems.

I know a fair bit about health and cardiac problems and food choices but when I am working I deliberately choose dense calories because I do not have enough time to chew my food properly so salads are not an option and since I cannot eat when I am hungry I almost always have to eat when I am not hungry or eat dense calories now to keep me going through a too long stretch when I cannot eat. The same kind of inability to control these variables affects sleep and all the other factors mentioned. I am stressed to the breaking point but cannot stop.

I am annoyed and offended and urge you to re-think your research. At the same time you might be better off figuring out how to change the current paradigm which turns human beings into borgs in service of the corporate model. Hopefully, peak oil and a financial crash may free us wage slaves before I have a second heart attack.

Romeo  Vitelli

I'm simply reporting on existing research. Perhaps you can contact the authors directly to express your concerns.


To Pat G. You should not criticize the scientists who have brought to light the significant health consequences caused by shift work and the suggested actions that may help minimize shift work's detrimental effects. Many (and I would probably even say most) shift workers may not realize that many of their health complaints are a direct result of shift work, and that lifestyle change can help. Your inability to follow positive lifestyle changes is not a fault of the scientists but of your work environment.

The more these consequences and effects on health are documented and the information realized by workers, policy makers and industry, the more pressure corporations will receive to change their business practices. In fact, in Europe, class action suits have been filed against corporations regarding the negative effects of shift work, and change is slowly in progress.

Anger and frustration should be directed at policy makers and corporations and not the scientists who are analyzing and reporting the effects on the community.

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