Shift work can lead to circadian desynchronization due to temporary misalignment between working hours and physiological and behavioral functioning, resulting in compromised health, insomnia, worsening of sleep quality, reduced ability to work during waking hours, and increased cardiovascular risk. We evaluated the effects of shift work on the rest-activity circadian rhythm (RAR) and health status of Italian orthopaedic nurses. The study population was 59 nurses: 44 worked the night shift and 15 worked the day shift. All carried out continuous 5-day actigraphic monitoring to assess RAR, including both the working and the rest period. The rhythmometric analysis showed that, during the working period, the night shift nurses had a significantly lower amplitude than the day shift nurses (p < 0.001), and the acrophase was significantly different between the two groups (p < 0.01). When we stratified the two groups by median body mass index (<25 kg/m(2) normal weight and >= 25 kg/m(2) overweight), during the working period, we noted a significantly lower amplitude for both the normal weight and the overweight nurses who worked the night shift (p < 0.01 and p < 0.001, normal weight and overweight respectively). The current findings suggest the need for further study of the relationship between activity levels and shift work.
Effects of Shift Work in a Sample of Italian Nurses: Analysis of Rest-Activity Circadian Rhythm / Galasso, Letizia; Mulè, Antonino; Castelli, Lucia; Cè, Emiliano; Condemi, Vincenzo; Banfi, Giuseppe; Roveda, Eliana; Montaruli, Angela; Esposito, Fabio. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH. - ISSN 1660-4601. - 18:16(2021). [10.3390/ijerph18168378]