- Health A-Z
- Diet & Fitness
- Home Remedies
According to a recent study, working in rotating shifts or working for long hours has a direct impact on brain function.For the study, researchers analysed cognitive ability and memory in more than 3000 individuals who were either employed in a various sectors or who had retired at three time points: 1996, 2001 and 2006.
Out of 3000 participants, 1484 individuals drawn from the list of patients of three occupational health doctors in three different regions in southern France, had worked in shifts for at least 50 days of the year. The study was carried in two sets to analyse whether the effect of shift work on brain function is reversible. The first set of tests were to assess long and short term memory; processing speed and overall global cognitive abilities. Participants were aged exactly 32, 42, 52 and 62 at the time of the first set. (Read: Reading novels increases brain function for days)
About one in five people who worked 18.5% and a similar proportion of those who had retired 17.9% had worked a shift pattern that rotated between mornings, afternoons, and nights. (Read: Newly developed protein can protect and restore brain function)
In the second set, analysing the impact of rotating shifts, the study found that in comparison to individuals who never worked in rotating shifts, those who had worked in shifts for 10 or more years, had lower cognitive and memory scores. Their ability was equivalent to 6.5 years of age related cognitive decline.
The results suggested that it was possible to reverse the impact on brain and memory and that people regained cognitive abilities after stopping shift work, but that this took at least five years, processing speeds excepted. (Read: Vitamin D deficiency linked to poor brain function after cardiac arrest)
Photo source: Getty images
Follow us on