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Potential long-term health effects of working non-traditional hours


Apr 3, 2024

A recent study conducted by researchers at NYU suggests that working non-traditional hours can have long-term health impacts. Previous studies have indicated that working outside of the typical nine-to-five workday can lead to negative effects on physical health, mental health, and family life. The new study focused on data from over 7,000 adults over 30 in the U.S., revealing that individuals with volatile work schedules, such as working overnight or early morning shifts, experienced lower sleep quality and were more likely to report depressive symptoms at age 50.

What is particularly concerning is that these negative health effects persisted even when individuals switched to jobs with more normal hours. Additionally, the study found that Black Americans were more likely to have unusual work schedules associated with poorer health, suggesting that certain groups may be disproportionately affected by non-traditional work hours.

Dr. Mallika Marshall, an Emmy-award-winning journalist and physician, has been reporting as the HealthWatch Reporter for CBS Boston/WBZ-TV for over 20 years. As a Board Certified practitioner in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Dr. Marshall is on staff at Harvard Medical School and practices at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she currently works on the frontlines caring for patients with COVID-19. She is also a host and contributing editor for Harvard Health Publications, providing valuable medical insights and information.

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