Is rotating shift work decreasing your brain power?

WORKERS' brain power could be affected by long-term rotating shift work, a new study published on Monday has suggested.

A study of the impacts of rotating shift work measured the effects of the work on more than 3000 people between 1996 and 2006.

Published in the Occupational and Environmental Medicine journal, the study found those who did work rotating shifts had lower scores on memory, processing speed and brain power than those who worked regular office hours.

It also found that those who worked rotating shifts for 10 or more years were likely to experience about 6.5 years of age-related cognitive decline earlier than study subjects who did not.

While the results also showed it was possible for people to regain their lost brain power, the evidence indicated it would take at least five years.

The study was observational, so could not provide definitive findings directly linking shift work with falls in brain power, but suggested shift work could create extra stress leading to such declines.


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