Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Employee Health: Healthy Eating on the Night Shift

Many shift workers struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it’s easy to understand why. The body’s natural routine, or its “circadian rhythm,” is significantly disrupted when they work the night shift.

When you have less access to fresher, healthier foods, eating well can be a challenge. Shift workers may also be unable to find an eating schedule that suits them. One idea that may work well is to eat a main meal before the start of a shift in the evening. Since this meal can be eaten unhealthy food options resized 600at home, you have more control over its nutritional content and the cooking methods used.

Once at work, it’s imperative that you bring along healthy snacks; avoid the vending machine and its processed, high-fat food at all costs! Some type of protein mixed with a small amount of carbs and fat is best because it helps you remain alert. Snacking and a light meal at break time can prevent hunger, and another light meal with healthy carbohydrates after work but before sleeping will promote rest and relaxation.

Avoiding caffeine toward the end of the shift is a must. It’s also a good idea, regardless, to replace coffee and pop with plain water or decaf tea.

Employers can help their night-shift workers in a number of ways, such as providing healthy food options, preventing tobacco use, offering 24-hour worksite gyms, and making employee wellness education available at a variety of times.

Topics: employee health nutrition worksite wellness employee wellness sleeping patterns

Shift Work and Employee Health

This blog was written by Lisa Larkin. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.

shift work, employee healthShift work is anything outside of the normal 8am to 5pm workday. Millions of Americans perform shift work. If you are a shift worker, your health could be in jeopardy.

Effects of Shift Work on Employee Health

Working nights or inconsistent shifts affects your sleep pattern. And, when you are tired or stressed you tend to eat poorly. Being overweight can lead to a lot of other health issues including depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Even most corporate fitness centers open early in the morning, so the personal trainers/wellness staff are not always on a good sleep pattern, either. Working in a corporate fitness center myself, I have some early mornings. When my sleep pattern isn’t consistent I tend to be more tired, have less energy, and make poor food choices.

Tips for Lessening the Health Impact of Shift Work

If you are one of the millions of shift workers, try to take naps less than an hour in length to catch up on some rest. Buy fresh vegetables and fruits to have some healthy snacks on hand at home and at work. Visit your onsite fitness center to relive some stress and help yourself wake up on breaks.

We all have to make a conscious effort to get more rest and make the healthy choice.

Topics: corporate wellness sleeping patterns