Healthy diets for shiftwork
ONE in six Australians older than 15 works in shifts outside the regular 9 am to 5 pm timeslot, with 25% of these people working in the healthcare industry.1
As shiftworkers have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome,2 diabetes,3 overweight4 and heart disease,5 providing dietary advice to these patients is vital.
Shiftwork not only involves organisations that need to operate 24 hours a day – such as hospitals and emergency services – but also transport industries and the food service and retail sectors which have extended opening hours.
Finding a balance between eating enough food to maintain health, provide energy and remain alert, versus not having the appropriate time to exercise and getting adequate sleep, requires careful planning.
Shiftwork and circadian rhythms
Due to the effects of sleep deprivation, shiftwork disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm.