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Spotted: Readers react to research on shift work

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New research that suggests women who work night shifts are more prone to heart disease had commenters commiserating on the effects of shift work on their own lives.
Joan Tranmer, a researcher at Queen's University, found that approximately one in five middle-aged women who do shift work has at least three of the risk indicators for heart disease.
Shift workers are more likely to get less sleep and worry about spending less time with family compared to those who don't work shifts, according to a Statistics Canada survey.

These findings resonated with many of our readers, who can relate, regardless of gender. 

  • "I have worked shift work for a very long time (40 years) and I have to comment here that I believe that regardless of gender, it has negative effects on anyone who works shifts. We are not, by nature, nocturnal, therefore any varient from our biorhythm has an adverse affect on our physiological and psychological well being. Eating regular meals is very difficult on shifts due to the nature of the hours at work." - preamalgamation
  • "Many of the nurses I worked with who had the night shift were in a double-bind situation. Their shift would be over, and rather than go home and rest, they'd stay up, get the kids to school, and then try and get some sleep. That would be over by the end of the school-day, when they'd have to pick their children up, make them dinner, have a shower and get back to work. There is just no 'down' time." - Mary Lynn M.
  • "For the past 23 years, I have done the "hamster wheel " shift work rotation - all three shifts, six nights a week. I am hurting physically, emotionally, financially and my immediate family is dysfunctional. My extended family sees all of this and offer suggestions about quitting the job, but how can I?" - Netwoman
  • "Shiftwork destroys families and relationships. I worked shift work for 20+ years. I worked shiftwork using different shifting methodologies. Three eight hour shifts (days, evenings, nights) of eight hours and two shifts at 12.5 hours. On the three shift schedule, I RARELY saw my girlfriend for more than a few hours at a time." - freesky2
  • "Working the night shift/shift work is extremely hard on anyone! Male or female. I did it for years through my 20s, at it aged me. Never again." - Hand-some-Here
  • "I'm retired from nursing now and I can tell you folks that, it is a great strain on the body. I always believed that, when the sun begins to set it's telling all living things it is time to rest and sleep." - JDSams
  • "I'm pretty sure that if they repeated the study and included men in it, they'd find the same results: higher stress and less sleep lead to poorer health outcomes." - J Miller
But not everyone was satisfied with the research. 
  • "Wow, this retired nurse surveyed 227 women in a small corner of southeastern Ontario. I think she should have done more research among a greater cross-section of the population to come up with her findings." - JeffWilkinson
  • "I did shift work for years, including night shifts only for two years. Yes, it takes a little time to adjust, but it is not the end of the world. It is up to the person to take responsibility for their health, or are we going to now delegate that to the workplace?" - Trajan
  • "Is it the official position of the Heart and Stroke Foundation that women are less capable of shift work than men? Or is it just a small group of scientists who are saying that women are less capable of shift work than men? Either way, it sounds like they want to roll back the book on women's equality by 4 decades." - PhilPrince
Have you ever worked shift work? How did it affect you? Share your thoughts below.
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