Feb 15, 2008

Shiftworker health and safety: short-term effects, part II

We continue the discussion of short term effects of shiftwork:

Interference with Social and Family Life
Most social and family events happen during the evening or on weekends. Because shiftworkers are on the job in the evening or on weekends, or because they sleep during the day, they often miss out on social or family activities.

When shiftworkers are asked about problems with their work schedule, they usually say that the number one problem is missing family and friends. Most shiftworkers agree that sleep also is a problem, but sometimes they would rather lose a little sleep just to see other people, especially their spouse or children.

The amount of time shiftworkers spend with family and friends depends on their schedule. It also depends on their social and leisure activities and how flexible these activities are. Shiftwork interferes little with activities that are not on a strict time schedule. Gardening, woodworking, or fixing cars are these kinds of activities.

Shiftwork does interfere with activities that are strictly scheduled, such as clubs or team sports. Shiftworkers often miss these activities because of work. Child care or visits to the children's school also can be a problem because of the work schedule.

A shiftwork schedule affects not only the worker but also the rest of the family. For example, children at play must be quiet during the day because the shiftworker is asleep.

Source: Plain Language About Shiftwork (NIOSH)

* Shiftworker health and safety: short-term effects, part I

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