Loneliness threatens shift work

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Without friendship maintenance, shift workers suffer from loneliness

When other people go to sleep or celebrate, many shift workers have to get to work. In order for shift workers to suffer less from loneliness or, in the worst case, to lose their friendships, good planning and communication with their social contacts is extremely important.

The majority of shift workers struggle with loneliness. When friends meet in the evening or at the weekend, others often have to fit because of their night shift. "Over the years, this leads to social isolation for many," says Prof. Monika Rieger from the German Society for Occupational and Environmental Medicine. If appointments have to be canceled again and again because of the shift plans, invitations often fail to appear. In order to do something about it, shift workers in their circle of friends should talk about it again and again. "Most of the time, a lot is already won if the friends are aware of the situation."

Loneliness and increased health risk: side effects of shift work
If even longer working hours are added to shift work, not only is social life extremely impaired, but various health risks can also arise, such as the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BauA) based on the evaluation of four independent studies on the subject of working hours and health. The irregular working hours can lead to sleep disorders, among other things. Shift work also increases the risk of developing diabetes, as US researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville found.

The risk of loneliness due to shift work can be prevented by various measures. So spontaneous meetings with friends and acquaintances are not easy, but: with forward planning and coordination, social contacts work quite well. However, this requires that employees can rely on their shift plans and that the employer does not constantly change shifts. (ad)

Also read:
Night work provokes diabetes and obesity
Breast cancer risk from night work

Image: Berwis / pixelio.de

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