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Does Shift Work Drain Your Health?

By Tom Herrin

There are times in which going by feel is a pretty good guide.  When people are in tune with their feelings, they can get a fairly good sense of just what is going on with them.  Many times, those who work shifts may feel that life is different for them.  The estimated numbers of those who work shifts in this country is approaching 10 million or more, depending on whose estimates they are based on.  When people work shifts, they are generally unable to use the natural cycles of sleep and activity.  As a result, several health issues may develop for those workers.  Without a worker staying informed, they could suffer from some of these problems.

Health and Safety May Both Be Compromised

One of the most common obstacles for shift workers is an inability to get good sleep.  While it may seem that they have just as many hours in the day as anyone else, it is a real challenge for many to sleep during daylight hours when there is so much activity going on.  When they can use natural sunlight to energize them and the dark to help them wind down, both sleep and activity are often more productive.  Studies have shown that there is a higher rate of accidents on the job and the commute among shift workers.  As far as health is concerned, they often eat poorly and get very little exercise due to a sometimes solitary lifestyle.

A Few Steps May Make a Shield Problems

For those who have trouble sleeping, avoiding caffeinated drinks past the first half of their shift may help.  Getting a little exercise prior to beginning of the shift, especially in the sunlight, can help start their natural clocks.  Eating meals that contain a good nutritional supply may help them to avoid cravings that send them to make poorer choices.  

Create a Total Lifestyle to Support Your Shift Work

If you are going to be working some kind of shift for an extended period of time, it will be helpful to devise a plan that can enable you to be reasonably active.  Be sure to include some allowances for family time that will work.  It is never useful to be the one who can't stay awake for any of these outings.  Too many people see those of us who work shifts as a silent member of the family with virtually no voting rights.  Stay involved and make a difference.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Stafford, Va.

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