The effect of the total amount of work hours and the benefits of a shortening is frequently debated, but very little data is available. The present study compared a group (N = 41) that obtained a 9 h reduction of the working week (to a 6 h day) with a comparison group (N = 22) that retained normal work hours. Both groups were constituted of mainly female health care and day care nursery personnel. The experimental group retained full pay and extra personnel were employed to compensate for loss of hours. Questionnaire data were obtained before and 1 year after the change. The data were analyzed using a two-factor ANOVA with the interaction term year*group as the main focus. The results showed a significant interaction of year*group for social factors, sleep quality, mental fatigue, and heart/respiratory complaints, and attitude to work hours. In all cases the experimental group improved whereas the control group did not change. It was concluded that shortened work hours have clear social effects and moderate effects on well-being.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies of the risk of heart disease after shift work reached different estimates and review authors disagree about the validity of some of the studies. A cross sectional study showed that shift workers had a higher prevalence of nearly every unfavourable work environment factor investigated. Conflicts at work and low decision latitude were more frequent among shift workers, and all-day walking or standing work and part-time jobs were more often found among female shift workers. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the risk of circulatory disease in a prospective follow up of a representative sample of gainfully employed Danes, considering known or suspected confounding factors. METHODS: A cohort of 5517 people who were gainfully employed in 1990 were followed up for all hospital treatments due to circulatory diseases (390-458, ICD-8; I00-I99, ICD-10) from 1991 to 2002 inclusive. A log linear Poisson regression model was applied to control confounding factors and calculate the relative risk for 927 men and women working nights, evenings, or other non-day shifts compared to 4579 day workers. RESULTS: Non-day workers compared to day workers had a relative risk (RR) for all circulatory diseases of 1.31 (95% CI 1.06-1.63). Without control for BMI and smoking, the RR estimate was 1.33 (95% CI 1.07-1.65). For a subgroup of workers with at least three years' seniority, the RR was 1.40 (95% CI 1.09-1.81). The population based aetiological fraction of shift work was estimated to 5%. CONCLUSION: This study adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that shift work carries an excess risk of circulatory diseases.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the hazard ratio for disability pension associated with shift work. METHODS: Cohorts of shift and day workers were identified in three waves of the Danish Work Environment Cohort Study and followed up for incidence of disability pension in a national register of social transfer payment. A total of 3980 female and 4025 male employees were included in the cohorts. Information about shift work status, age, smoking habits, body mass index and ergonomic work environment were updated according to responses in subsequent waves of the survey when possible. Respondents reporting shift work were classified as shift workers in the following waves as well. Respondents were followed in the register from the time of first interview and were censored at the time of their 60th birthday, emigration, death or end of follow-up (18 June 2006). The authors used the Cox proportional hazards model to estimate hazard ratios for incidence of disability pension and 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: The authors observed 253 new disability pensions among women and 173 among men during 56 903 and 57 886 person-years at risk respectively, Among women, shift work predicted disability after adjustment for age, general health and socioeconomic status HR 1.39 (95% CI 1.07 to 1.82). After further adjustment for body mass index, smoking habits, socioeconomic status and ergonomic exposures the association remained statistically significant HR 1.34 (95% CI 1.02 to 1.75). Shift work was not associated with disability among men. CONCLUSION: Shift work might be moderately associated with disability pension among women; however, more powerful studies are needed to establish the possible association.
This dedicated issue of Chronobiology International is devoted to the selected proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Shift Work and Working Time held in Stockholm, Sweden, 28 June to 1 July 2011. It constitutes the fifth such issue of the journal since 2004 dedicated to the selected proceedings to the meetings of the Working Time Society. The key theme of the 20th Symposium was "Biological Mechanisms, Recovery, and Risk Management in the 24-h Society." The collection of papers of this dedicated issue represents the best of contemporary research on the effects of night and rotating shift schedules on worker health and safety. The contents cover such topics as sleep restriction, injuries, health, and performance of night work and rotating shiftwork, plus light treatment as a countermeasure against the circadian disruption of shiftwork. The majority of the papers are observational field studies, including some of large sample size, and three studies are well-designed laboratory experiments.
The implementation of work hour restrictions across North America have resulted in decreased levels of self injury and medical errors for Residents. An arbitration ruling in Quebec has led to further curtailment of work hours beyond that proposed by the ACGME. This may threaten Resident quality of life and in turn decrease the educational quality of surgical residency training.
We administered a quality of life questionnaire with an integrated education quality assessment tool to all General Surgery residents training at McGill 6 months after the work hour restrictions.
Across several strata respondents reveal a decreased sense of educational quality and quality of life.
The arbitration argued that work- hour restrictions would be necessary to improve quality of life for trainees and hence improve patient safety. Results from this study demonstrate the exact opposite in a large majority of respondents, who report a poorer quality of life and a self-reported inability on their part to provide continuous and safe patient care.
Despite the major legislative and contractual gains made by women in the area of equality of opportunity, women continue to be employed in occupations and positions which are inferior to those of males. Their value is underestimated and indeed their contributions are often "invisible" in terms of social and monetary recognition. The author of this social essay describes several situations where the "invisibility" of women's work has lead to severe social stress. She provides concrete examples and suggestions for change and for making women's work socially "visible."
Day sleep (after night work) and night sleep (after day work) were studied in two groups of locomotive engineers aged 25-35 and 50-60 a, respectively. All recordings were made in the homes of the subjects. For both groups day sleep was reduced by approximately 3.3 h, mainly affecting rapid eye movement sleep and stage 2 sleep. Diuresis and the excretion of noradrenaline were increased during day sleep. The ratings of sleepiness were higher after night work than after day work. Several indices of disturbed daytime sleep correlated significantly with catecholamine excretion. The age groups differed mainly in that the older subjects had relatively more stage shifts, awakenings, stage 1 sleep, a higher diuresis, and a higher noradrenaline excretion during day sleep. It was concluded that night work is detrimental to sleep and that negative effects are exacerbated by increasing age.