Young Adults’ Health Later in Life Tied to Irregular Work Shifts: Study by New York University Researcher Sheds Light

Working irregular hours during youth could have negative health effects in the future

A recent study conducted by a researcher at New York University sheds light on the impact of irregular work shifts on young adults’ health later in life. The study used data from over 7,300 participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979 and analyzed employment patterns starting at age 22 and their association with various health outcomes at age 50.

The results of the study showed that participants who worked night shifts or irregular hours in their 20s slept less and had worse quality of sleep compared to those who worked a standard 9 a.m.-5 p.m. schedule. By the time these workers reached age 50, they were more likely to report feelings of depression. Additionally, those with volatile work schedules, such as working evening or night hours, or having daily hours that constantly changed, were more likely to report poor health in middle age. The study also found that Black participants were more likely to have these types of schedules.

According to Wen-Jui Han, author of the study and associate professor of sociology at NYU, work is no longer a source of stability but rather a vulnerability to a healthy life due to the increasing instability in work arrangements. This highlights the need for policies that prioritize workers’ well-being and provide them with stable and predictable work schedules.

The study was published online in the journal PLOS One.

A recent study conducted by a researcher at New York University sheds light on the impact of irregular work shifts on young adults’ health later in life. The study used data from over 7,300 participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth-1979 and analyzed employment patterns starting at age 22 and their association with various…

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