According to a study in the British Medical Journal, people who work the graveyard shift – or alternating night-and-day schedules – are almost 25% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those who work more regular day shifts.
No one’s sure exactly why the graveyard shift is so dangerous, but theories include:
*Graveyard shift workers have a harder time doing things the rest of us take for granted, like running errands and finding child care. So, stress may be a factor.
*It’s also more difficult for people who work unusual hours to schedule things like doctor’s appointments. In fact, a Harvard study found that working nights can lower your resting metabolic rate by as much as 8%. This means that shift workers are more likely to gain weight.
Of course, some people have to work nights. If the employees of any of your corporate clients are among them, encourage these workers to do everything possible to protect their heart. Quitting smoking is a no-brainer. In addition, they should keep their sleeping and eating habits as regular as possible (admittedly, this is harder for shift workers). They should also watch their diet, avoid trans fats, and exercise every day.
Additional source: John Tesh: Intelligence for Your Life (www.tesh.com).