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Effect of shift work on physiological parameters: A study among security personnel

Md. Sabir Hussain, Ruchi Tyagi.

Background: Circadian rhythm is the natural internal clock that controls the release of various hormones and enzymes that govern the body’s daily physiological and psychological activities. When there is a distortion of this natural rhythm as in shift workers, the resulting circadian dysrhythmias impact negatively on their health and social well-being. The incidence of health conditions, such as heart disease or digestive disorders, is increased due to the stress of shift work.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the changes in physiological parameters (i.e., body composition, pulse rate, and blood pressure [BP]) among the security personnel who were having shift work schedule.

Materials and Methods: A total of 70 security personnel of which 35 were having shift work schedule and remaining were controls were included in our study after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Anthropometric measurements, body composition indices, average pulse rate, and BP were recorded. The data were then statistically analyzed.

Results: Our study revealed that shift workers had a statistically significant increase in diastolic BP (DBP) compared to day workers, while the average pulse rate and systolic BP (SBP) showed the non-significant difference. We found that shift workers showed more body fat and body mass index (BMI) than the day workers. We found a significant positive correlation of BMI with waist circumference, body fat and total body water in both the group of the study population, while BMI was significantly correlated with SBP and DBP only in shift workers.

Conclusion: Shift workers are more prone to develop overweight, obesity, and hypertension than the day workers.

Key words: Shift work; Obesity; Body Composition

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