Shift Work Could Lead to Impaired Memory

I hope you aren’t working irregular shifts because you are aging faster than the rest of us! New research from leading European universities has found that people who worked irregular shifts for more than 10 years experienced a decline in their cognitive function – about 6.5 years of aging. Who wants the ability of a 46.5 year old when you are only 40? Not me!

This study, published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, examined 3,232 workers aged at 32, 42, 52 and 62 by carrying out speed and memory tests on them three times, and again five and 10 years later. Of the study group, approximately 20 per cent of them worked rotational shifts between morning, afternoon and evening. So factory workers, nurses, firefighters, and everyone in between, I’m talking to you.

Its obvious that shift work is not ideal, yet almost 15 million Americans depend on night shifts or changing schedules for full-time work. Moreover, Americans are known to work much longer hours than our friends across the pond. However, the study shows there is still hope for you irregular shift workers as the researchers found that those who left their shift work for at least five years had improved cognitive function. So I hate to break it to you, but if want to stop aging so fast from irregular shifts and reverse the damage already done, quit your job. Just make sure you have another one lined up!

Source: Washington Post

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