Shift and night work

Giovanni Costa, Sergio Garbarino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the 24-h Society working time organization is a key issue on account of labor market globalization and extension of basic services to the general population. Most workers are engaged in irregular or atypical working hours, including shift and night work, which may have a negative impact on health and well-being, because of the stress from interference with psycho-physiological functions and social life. In the short term, perturbation of sleep/wake cycle, de-synchronization of circadian rhythms, and sleep deprivation may significantly impair work efficiency, making the worker more vulnerable to errors, accidents, and injuries. In the long-term, negative effects on health deal mainly with psychoneurotic, gastrointestinal, metabolic and cardiovascular disorders, and probably cancer. There is a high interindividual variability in both short-term adjustment and long-term adaptation to irregular working hours, due to interaction among individual characteristics, working conditions, and socioeconomic factors. Preventive and protective measures are based on ergonomic design of shift systems, appropriate counseling, and periodical health surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSleepiness and human impact assessment
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Italia s.r.l.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9788847053885, 8847053870, 9788847053878
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Circadian rhythms
  • Counseling
  • Health
  • Jet lag
  • Night work
  • Performance efficiency
  • Shift scheduling
  • Shift work
  • Shift work sleep disorder
  • Sleep loss
  • Work accidents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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