Shiftwork and changes in health behaviors

J Occup Environ Med. 2011 Dec;53(12):1413-7. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31823401f0.


Objective: We studied the associations between exposure to shiftwork and changes in health behaviors.

Methods: We used questionnaire data from 2062 women enrolled in a cohort study a few weeks before graduating as health care helpers/assistants. We analyzed whether shiftwork in 2005 was associated with changes in smoking habits, level of physical activity, or weight from 2004 to 2006.

Results: Fixed nightwork was associated with higher odds of smoking relapse, lower odds of smoking cessation, and lower odds of becoming physically active. Two and three shifts with nightwork were associated with lower odds of weight gain. Fixed evening work and two shifts without nightwork were not associated with changes in health behaviors.

Conclusion: Changes in health behaviors may mediate some of the association between fixed nightwork and health outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Weight
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work Schedule Tolerance*
  • Young Adult