Shift work, overweight and obesity in health professionals: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Ter. 2018 Jul-Aug;169(4):e189-e197. doi: 10.7417/T.2018.2077.


Shift work may have significant repercussions on the health of the worker, and has been linked to unhealthy lifestyles. The aim was to conduct a systematic review of the literature and to assess the relationship between night shift and overweight and obesity among health professionals. A literature search was performed using PubMed and Scopus. The keywords used included: "shift work", "night work", "obesity", "overweight", "nurses" "doctors" "physicians". The whole process of revision followed the PRISMA Statement. Two researchers independently, reviewed the search results, assessed the quality and extracted data. Six transversal and a cohort studies were found for the population of nurses. The meta-analysis did not produce significant results on the prevalence of obesity in the population of nurses (OR: 1.00; 95% CI 0.66-1.50). More high-quality studies and including a larger number of participants should be conducted, in order to assess whether there is real cause-effect relationship between the exposure to night shifts and weight gain as well as of obesity.

Keywords: Healthcare professional; Obesity; Overweight; Shift work; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Personnel / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Overweight / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Weight Gain / physiology