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IT Night Shift Workers: Fat and Undersexed

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the for-those-about-to-post-we-salute-you dept.

IT 203

wiredmikey writes "The results of a recent survey released today by Men's Health Network found that shift workers, people who work non-traditional hours including IT professionals working overnight shifts, report that these shifts are negatively impacting their health, work, well-being, and quality of life. The survey revealed that the majority of shift workers (79%) believe that they are negatively impacted by their shift work and voiced daily concern over their energy level (47%), weight (43%), and their sex lives (30%). Additionally, the survey showed that the average shift worker hasn't had a meal with their family in two weeks or exercised in 24 days. The results of this survey really shouldn't be surprising. While the survey infers that shift workers may be overweight, the issue extends far beyond and into the general population of the United States, including children. Childhood obesity is at an all time high in America, so this issue isn't just related to the night shift."

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How much of this is correlated to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770008)

How many of these people are willing to work, or even seek out, these night shifts because their health, weight or quality of life is low?

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770104)

How many people can keep up a good schedule of anything when their sleep schedule is topsy-turvy?

I have a friend who works the overnight (midnight-8am) shift. If he wants to do things with his friends, he has to sleep during the day (9am-5pm-ish). If he wants to handle any of the usual things that people have to handle (yard work, banking, groceries, etc) he has to sleep from about 2pm-10pm in order to wake up and get to work for his shift.

You can't tell me it doesn't impact his life. Sleeping during the day is HARD. The body doesn't want to adjust to it. The body doesn't like existing without a certain amount of daytime hours - e.g. full-spectrum light - but his workplace won't even let him bring in a personally-purchased lamp with a full-spectrum bulb to try to counteract that.

If you're going to work tired, going through your day tired, how are you going to do when trying to make good decisions on what you eat? How are you going to get any decent exercise if you feel like crap even when you get to the gym?

Night shift work is rough. And he doesn't get a choice in the matter: if he quits where he works right now, the next business in his industry means moving to another city at a time when selling a house is next-to-impossible, and he'd likely be out of work for 6-12 months due to the 20% unemployment rate the Republicans gave us.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (5, Insightful)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770242)

You can't tell me it doesn't impact his life. Sleeping during the day is HARD. The body doesn't want to adjust to it.

Not all of us are day dwellers, some are night owls. Personally, I'm at my sharpest at night but then my family has been calling me "the nightwatchman" since I was about 8.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (5, Informative)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770552)

Have you ever worked a night shift?

I let myself take an 11PM-7AM shift several years ago precisely because I considered myself a night owl. I was waking up in the afternoon anyway, I figured it wasn't really a big deal. Turned out, it was. Working nights pretty thoroughly sucks away your life-force, as nearly anyone who's done one can tell you.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770694)

I have. If I had my way I'd work nothing but nights. Unfortunately there's other considerations to be made like making sure you still see the kids and making sure you don't become "invisible" to your employer/manager. Someone in another comment described it as having your "mind work(ing) clearly as if it's unwrapped from a fog" which is a pretty accurate description, for me the fog lifts at around 23:00. I guess I'm a freak but there are people like us out there.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771264)

I don't think it makes you a freak - I think it's part of natural human variation. And in a natural setting it's a valuable variation, too. It's extremely useful to always have one or two of the tribe awake and alert during the night in case nocturnal predators come calling. I would actually be very surprised if there wasn't a significant fraction of humanity that exhibited nighttime wakefulness.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (1)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771308)

I'm nearly the same; my brain kicks in around 8pm. In college, I stayed up all night/morning studying and skipped classes because I couldn't focus during the day (fortunately I was a CS major at a school that put recordings of all classes online, so this was acceptable option for me). After college, I started a job where I worked night shifts about 30% of the time. For a while, it was fine because I was traveling anyway so whether I was away from home and working nights or days didn't really matter - I was away from home. I'd work 10 hours, go back to the hotel and hit the gym, then sleep through the day. After awhile, the shifting from days to nights started to get to me, I left that job, and now I'm much happier with a more 'normal' work schedule.

I feel like my situation was a bit special though. Admittedly, I didn't have much of a social life, and I was ok with it. When I decided I wanted my social life back, I realized that it wasn't going to happen as long as I stayed at that job.

So yeah, it's definitely true that some people are more tuned for night shift work. I think the problem is that a lot of people aren't, but they need the job. Personally, I think employers should treat night shift workers differently and at least compensate them more for the sacrifices that they make. It's not like we can get rid of night shifts, so there needs to be some reward for the added hardships. Sure, that means that some people will be compensated for doing something they'd rather do anyway, but that doesn't seem like a bad thing to me either.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (2)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771522)

Unfortunately there's other considerations to be made like... making sure you don't become "invisible" to your employer/manager.

That's not always a bad thing [theoatmeal.com]

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (2)

mmortal03 (607958) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771596)

It could be that some of you guys have what's called Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, that is, if the "fog finally lifting" in the evening affects your ability to go to bed earlier consistently: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_sleep_phase_syndrome [wikipedia.org]

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771662)

I have worked night shifts and I really, really miss the times. It was way more adjusted to my sleep cycle than a job that starts before noon. Or, in other words, it's no problem to have me at 8am still at work. The trouble is to have me there at 8am already.

it's currently 5:40am for me. And I'm still up. Not already. I easily adjust back to my sleeping habits from when I was a "night shift worker". Takes about a day. Returning to a day work cycle usually takes a lot of caffeine and almost a week 'til I'm more than merely physical present at work.

And no, living in Europe and having most of my friends in the US certainly doesn't help here either...

News flash: Most I.T. work is bad for your health. (5, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770374)

How many people can keep up a good schedule of anything when their sleep schedule is topsy-turvy?

"Crunch time" - it used to be exceptional. It's now not just acceptable; it's become the norm. This is because increasingly, clueless management simply can't manage resources properly, and substitutes crazy hours to make up for it because we let them. Your body needs 2 weeks to a month to fully recover from a single 24-hour shift of high-stress in-the-zone concentration. It's not worth it.

"But it's the only way we can compete!" No, it's the only way YOU can compete. If you can't get the work without abusing your employees, YOU have the problem. I quit.

We all have the point where we've had our fill of it. It wasn't this bad prior to the Internet, so take your "Internet Time" and shove it. YOU need it - I'd rather be broke than further ruin my health to make up for managements' inability to do their jobs properly.

I'm happier and a lot less stressed since I "took the pledge" and decided to never again take a job writing code. There are things worse than not making enough money. Working in I.T. has become one of them.

Re:News flash: Most I.T. work is bad for your heal (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770828)

I used to be a Database admin for Interpoint, in Redmond. Before that, I worked in porn for IEG in Seattle - code monkey work.

I now work for the Air Force at McChord Field, I make slightly less but I'm 7 to 4, Mon - Fri, I can go to the gym 3 hours a week *ON THE CLOCK* in addition to my one hour lunch, and I'm a member of a union.

I've never looked back except to wonder how people put up with the bullshit they do.

Re:News flash: Most I.T. work is bad for your heal (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771160)

Too much I.T. is like a bad marriage. It's always "I'm sorry, it was this one time - it won't happen again" - until it does. The crunch time, the extra hours, often unpaid and always unappreciated, it's the typical abusive situation. The only solution is to walk away, because management will not change. They can't afford to, because it would mean they are no longer "competitive", and so *they* would be out of a job.

But if a company can only survive by treating its employees like battered wives, they deserve to die. And then to be exposed by using this wonderful thing called the Internet.

They're not going to sue if you expose them (though they may threaten it like all heck) - they know what the Streisand Effect is like. And don't worry about your NDA and non-disclosures. Most of them are SO illegal it's not a joke - and you can ignore them when they are signed in bad faith.

Since I quit in February, my blood pressure is back to normal - without any meds, thank you very much ... my eyesight is better than it's ever been in my life (it's the first time ever that I can watch TV without glasses, and it's all good except for one little blotch that is slowly going away now that one of the underlying causes of the retinal bleeding - stress-related hypertension - is gone, and I expect that blotch will also disappear over the next few months), and I have time to work on my tan, cycle, and actually visit people I haven't seen in over a decade.

If I *ever* do overtime again, it will never be for less than 5x base pay. Even for a lousy 30 minutes. More than 10 hours extra in a week? 10x. Otherwise, bite me. Or hire someone else. Or figure out why management needs overtime (hint - it's your bad planning and not listening and trying to "negotiate away" the time required when we give our time estimates, and your insistence on taking shortcuts and using your stupid latest buzz-word methodology. Go buzz yourself!)

People should ask themselves if the quality of their life was better before they started in I.T.

Re:News flash: Most I.T. work is bad for your heal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771198)

Sorry, but, fuck you and holding yourself high. Maybe not you individually, but we're all nobodies who won't dare stoop down to anything withing a stones throw of what Chinese labor norms are, but in the first world here we'll be the first to complain about the 'crunch time.'

Re:News flash: Most I.T. work is bad for your heal (4, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771374)

We're only "nobodies" if we let ourselves be treated that way. The comparison to Chinese labor conditions is a false dichotomy, and the sort of cowardly thinking that management drones use.

Are you that beaten down that you have to say to yourself "at least it's not as bad as in China" to justify working conditions that your parents, and most of your friends who don't work in I.T., would look at and say "Are you sick?"

There's life after I.T.

Re:News flash: Most I.T. work is bad for your heal (3, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771690)

Come over to Europe. We need good coders and we treat them well. Our programmers arrive somewhere between 8 and 10am and go between 3 and 5pm. Mo-Fr. Occasionally (read: about twice a year) they might be asked whether it would be possible that someone could come in a Saturday for a launch so we can make sure everything's running smoothly. You get 1.5 hours of time off for every hour invested in such Saturday.

The work permit should be trivial if you're good.

Re:News flash: Most I.T. work is bad for your heal (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771896)

Or as I like to say:

The good news is, you get health insurance. The bad news is, you're gonna need it.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770468)

It's worth noting that night cycles, when they are constant are not that much worse then day cycles on a body - the only issue is getting sleep if you live in area that is very noisy during the day, or you have really bad curtains/window blinds that don't darken the room.

It's also very personal, and something that can be taught even if you're naturally lacking this ability. I was strictly a day person till I hit 19 and went to the army (conscription, Finland). After I went to reserves a year later, having pulled countless night watches and drills, I noted that I could sleep essentially anywhere and at any time if I was sleepy. The only problem was cycle, which meant that if I had to pull a night shift, it would take me a few days to adjust (and a few to adjust back). But once you're in the cycle, sleeping is the same, provided no one decides to do something terribly noisy like drilling in the same building. And even then, I can just plug my ears - problem is I won't hear my alarm clock however so I usually avoid that. But sleeping isn't a problem. It's a bit more restless, but you can compensate for it by going to sleep a bit earlier.

But if you're someone not used to it, sleeping during daytime with its extra noisiness and brightness could be a real challenge. I know my mother has extreme issues with sleeping even at night if there are any sounds except for trains (she lives next to a railroad and finds train noise calming). In the end, it's about acclimating yourself to it.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771492)

"If he wants to handle any of the usual things that people have to handle (yard work, banking, groceries, etc) he has to sleep from about 2pm-10pm in order to wake up and get to work for his shift."

Grocery stores are 24/7 , banking is done online or via ATM these days.

As far as yard work is concerned, while that is confined to daylight hours, at this time of the year sunrise is around5:45am and sunset is at 9:12 pm, all times when I am not at work. I prefer to mow the lawn on my day(s) off anyway. But the other day I mowed the lawn after I got home from work, and thn had a shower and went to bed.

What is needed mainly is a bedroom that has good enough darkening blinds and curtains, good a/c and either a quiet neigbourhood or good soundproofing. no children, or pets, and a supportive spouse.
If you are into TV programs a DVR or VCR is needed.

I have been working nights (11pm-7am) for the past 3 years, 9 shifts per fortnight. I couldn't do it if I had to sometimes work other shifts though.

Tonight is my night off.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (3, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770440)

Reminds me of an often-told story around these parts...

It's the night shift in Master Control at a major national Cable TV Network. One guy has been there since pre-launch days, let's call him "Joe." Now, Joe is enormous, pushing if not over 300 lbs, sports a perpetual four-day stubble, is known for -- among many other eccentricities -- coming to work in his pajamas. Not that he was a slacker, oh no. Joe is a rock, a superman, the exact guy you want on duty should there be a crisis, or even if there isn't. He's the "Mayor of the Overnight," as the CEO once referred to him. So all Joe's compatriots in Master Control, they do their time, eventually move into daylight shifts, but not Joe. "Not interested," sez Joe. "Like it on the overnights just fine." New generations of Master Control Operators are hired, Joe mentors them, and THEY move on and up. And so his legend grows. Years pass, Joe's an industry icon, his fame grown even beyond his own company.

Then one day -- five years later? seven years later? ten years later? -- he finds he's become an HR Nightmare. See, Joe got top marks on every merit review, got maximum pay raises for his job class, every year -- and now he's making more money than a lot of suits 2-3 pay grades above him. "Can't have that," HR informs Ops. And so Joe is finally prodded and cajoled into the sunlight. Shiny suit, skinny tie, shave and a haircut, congrats Big Guy, Welcome to Management!

He lasted six weeks. Was never clear whose call it was ultimately -- the other suits who now had to deal with "That Fat Guy from Master Control," or the erstwhile Mayor himself who came to finally see first hand what he probably suspected all along, that making banks of machinery and automation systems play nice together was easy compared to any comparable accomplishment involving people.

But HR was happy. With Joe gone, everyone's paychecks once again fit nicely inside the boxes that had been drawn for them.

The smug superiority of the "people person" (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770808)

that making banks of machinery and automation systems play nice together was easy compared to any comparable accomplishment involving people.

Not necessarily harder just very different and requiring the application of different skills. You could give the same anecdote in a manufacturing or military setting but people would be less likely to draw the wrong conclusion as you did above.

It should be obvious - the newbie in an unfamiliar environment is not going to shine. If you expect them to shine instantly you weed out everyone apart from those with a protective sheild of highly polished bullshit.
A "people person" out of their depth in a technical environment can be as much of a problem as an isolated technical person that suddenly finds they do not have the required management and communication skills. It takes knowlege, observation and experience before you can get up to speed in a very different environment.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770514)

You beat me to it. Then again, you are first post, so you beat us all to it.

Re:How much of this is correlated to... (1, Informative)

Ozlanthos (1172125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771256)

These problems have nothing to do with night shifts or the people that work them. Having worked a couple of 12 hour night shifts in my work history. I found that there are a couple of easy answers to these dilemmas. Prioritize your health! Don't drink soda. If you need a boost, those stupid 5 hour energies work just fine on a consistent basis. EAT FEWER CALORIES! A nice grilled chicken breast, and a piece of fruit for your first break,the same with something with a few carbs in it during your lunch, and a grilled chicken breast (season as you will) w/ a piece of a different fruit. during your last break. Drink lots of water...iced if possible.

GO TO THE GYM AFTER YOU GET OUT OF WORK! You don't have to be there long, or do it all in one visit. At least 45 minutes of cardio ( I break it up into 3 15 minute cardio sessions on 3 different machines) , 3 sets minimum of 20 reps for abs (any exercise, as long as it is like a partial or full sit-up) and maybe 2 or 3 muscle groups (shoulders, lats, pecs, bis, tris, quads, hamstrings, calves) a day. Do this 4 days (or more) a week and in 4 months you will look awesome! Also for guys....gyms in the early AM are filled with cougars and other single women...lots of opportunity, just remember that you are really only at the gym for yourself. Ladies, the better you look the more we want to look at you...admit it it is just the same the other way around. Also for men and women, there tends to be a strong differential between the attractiveness of someone who takes really good care of their body, and someone who does not....Case Closed.

Oh, and one last thing. Don't try to live like people who are not on the same schedule as you. Nothing causes more stress than bouncing back and forth from normal hours to night shift hours.

-Oz

This can't be right! (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770024)

I had more sex and was way more skinnier when I did work the night shift.

Re:This can't be right! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770116)

Does your wife know?

Re:This can't be right! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770132)

Unfortunately, sex with yourself doesn't really count...

Re:This can't be right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770462)

so if you're a hermaphrodite it doesn't count? I would beg to differ you insensitive clod!

Re:This can't be right! (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770488)

It didn't have to be himself. You can fit an inflatable sheep in a briefcase... Which by the way is a hilarious addition to the bosses briefcase just before a meeting...

Re:This can't be right! (0)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770504)

*cough* boss's *cough* I'm an idiot *cough*

Re:This can't be right! (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770810)

And sex with yourself _during_ the night shift is just plain wrong.

Re:This can't be right! (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770800)

When examining poultry chicks, "sexed" means you have determined if they are male or female, thus you can sell them at different prices. So when I hear that an IT night worker is "undersexed" it means that an expert was unable to determine which sex they are. That sounds pretty bad to me.

Re:This can't be right! (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771028)

I had more sex and was way more skinnier when I did work the night shift.

Me too. I used to do 12 hour shifts, which worked out to 15 work days in a month as opposed to the usual 20. On the days when I was working, I'd have so little time to do anything that I got in the habit of just going to the gym for a couple hours and then hitting the sack, while my extra days-off left me plenty of time for women. I liked that far more than the ol' 9-5 grind.

Re:This can't be right! (1)

MyrddinBach (1138089) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771168)

Hey I do the same thing -work 12 hour shifts and only 15 days a month or so. I really enjoy it, amd am a a few pounds overweight but definitely not fat and I have son much extra days off my sex life definitely doesn't suffer. I could stand to exercise more but I am working on that too.

Harsh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770026)

Damn.. that's pretty fucking harsh.

Let's just say that late night IT workers are under-exercised and over-masturbated.

Re:Harsh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771422)

I thought we banished them to nights because they are fat and ugly?

Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770052)

So according to the article:
1: Fat people are best suited to work night shifts and work poorly during the day.
2: The USA has a majority of fat people.

Just solve the problem by declaring that from now on, business hours will be night shift hours! That will bring the USA out of the recession and the obesity problem won't be an issue anymore.
Also, why not expand on this study a bit? Does exercising at night also reduce obesity better than exercising during the day? Do fat people process food better at night? Do they see better, perhaps? Living at night certainly must have more than just one advantage for obese people!

Skeptical (5, Insightful)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770058)

The article doesn't appear to compare these statistics with non-shift workers in the same field. I'm sure that shift work has its own issues, but the gist of the article is that shift work also correlates to "voiced daily concerns" about fairly common maladies among office workers. How does the 43% who complain daily about their weight, for example, compare to non-shift workers?

Re:Skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771730)

That would involve objective reality.

And the "obesity epidemic" was mostly fueled by a change in the levels we consider obese. Imagine changing speed limits downward by 10 mph, and then coming up with statistics showing how speeding is suddenly becoming an epidemic.

Uh, yeah, i'm going to have to ask you to stay (4, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770060)

Are you sure they determined the polarity of causality in this?

Because, really, it's the chubby, antisocial people with the bad self-care issues that tend to agree to take jobs that subject them to isolation and imposition for less money.

Re:Uh, yeah, i'm going to have to ask you to stay (1)

nbetcher (973062) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770152)

Or people who need a job so they can live in a vicious unforgiving economy.

Re:Uh, yeah, i'm going to have to ask you to stay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770310)

my company offers a differential in pay to work second shift.... as I understand it, this is fairly common in manufacturing (at least medical mfg, in this area).

Re:Uh, yeah, i'm going to have to ask you to stay (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770322)

Who said anything about second shift?

[boo-ya!]

Re:Uh, yeah, i'm going to have to ask you to stay (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770606)

Are you sure they determined the polarity of causality in this?

No, but they did modulate the causality frequency. Unfortunately, that was insufficient to prevent night shift IT workers from wearing Borg costumes.

Re:Uh, yeah, i'm going to have to ask you to stay (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770836)

Like so many things it's probably a feedback loop, not a simple causality. You might be a tad on the "chubby, antisocial people with the bad self-care issues" side to begin with, then when you have the job you become even more so - which makes you even more likely to take another job like it. Skill and experience is typically the most common one, as you get better at something you do it more because it's more fun being good than sucking, which gives you more experience which leads to higher skills which leads to more experience. Maybe some small talent or interest or external influence got you started, but it's not really the cause of where you ended up.

Economy of Scales (2, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770064)

The fast food and inflatable doll industries extend sincere thanks to corpulent nocturnal IT workers across the globe.

Anecdotal Evidence (0)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770086)

My anecdotal evidence concurs. Working overnights fueled my divorce, furiously. I gained weight, more than I ever had before, even at my laziest. It wasn't worth doubling my income, not at all. It was a foolish move by a kid that didn't see past the dollar signs. Never again. Of course, I'm changing industries from Network Administration to Lab Science, should finish my coursework in about 2 more years, so I'll never have to worry about it again.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (1)

PlasmaEye (1128377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770506)

Of course, I'm changing industries from Network Administration to Lab Science, should finish my coursework in about 2 more years, so I'll never have to worry about it again.

Interesting, I'm doing the almost exact opposite. I'm going from chemistry labs to a cube farm and I, too, have 2 more years of coursework before I do that.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770740)

LOL. ME TOO.

Re:Anecdotal Evidence (1)

BeaverCleaver (673164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771830)

I can assure you there are plenty of night shifts in all sorts of laboratories. I wish you luck in your new career, but if you're doing it to get away from night shifts, you may want to investigate something else.

Sunlight... (3, Informative)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770094)

People need it, shift workers don't get very much of it. Just the bit most get in passing going to & from work helps allot. Without it, people are in general a bit more unhappy & lethargic.

Re:Sunlight... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770180)

People need it, shift workers don't get very much of it. Just the bit most get in passing going to & from work helps allot. Without it, people are in general a bit more unhappy & lethargic.

"These "lumivores" reject the safety of darkness and appear to seek out light. Sickening [angryflower.com] ."

Re:Sunlight... (0)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770372)

I can't tell you how much I hate sunlight. I burn, hell I'm half asian, but I'm half european too. But holy shit I burn like I was a redhead with super fair skin. That whole 'fair skin x minutes' yeah, half it. But I'm tired, unhappy and lethargic in the daytime, night I'm the opposite. Full of energy, most productive, my mind works clearly as if it's unwrapped from a fog.

Simply because it's believed to be one way for everyone, doesn't make it true. There's plenty of us that like nights because we're wired this way.

Re:Sunlight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770542)

Hitler sez: you go into the furnace with all the other weirdos.

Re:Sunlight... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771650)

Hitler sez: you go into the furnace with all the other weirdos.

Oh look. A liberal.

Take Responsibility For Your Life (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770098)

When I worked the Graveyard, I made sure that for my "lunch" I actually *left* the facility, often for a quick trip to the 24hr gym, and just as often went to a 24hr cafe. I made sure I had healthy snacks (I'm a serious snacker). I mean, you HAVE to take the initiative and think about how to create a healthy environment for yourself regardless of the time of day. In most cities, this is perfectly possible, you don't HAVE to spend your breaks sitting on your ass smoking and eating junk food.

Re:Take Responsibility For Your Life (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770252)

That was my thought, back when I worked security, the night shift was the slimmest shift we had. With the day shift coming in second. The reason being that there was a ton of exercise involved with it, more than with either the day or swing shift.

Re:Take Responsibility For Your Life (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770888)

My guess is that there's less food too. Cafeteria is closed, restaurants are closed, even many fast food joints are closed after ten or so. So you would tend to bring your own food. Or else use a vending machine but someone's going to get tired of stale twinkies and snickers for "lunch". Now if they put all the IT night shift worker in downtown Manhattan or San Francisco I'm sure they'd find something open, but not in the smaller cities or suburbs.

Re:Take Responsibility For Your Life (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770972)

Denny's? Seriously, there is a Denny's in Bum Fuck Monroe, Washington. Most cities larger than 10,000 (and many of those as well) have all-night diners. And most cities have 24-hour big-name groceries such as (here on the West Coast) Safeway and Winco... They sell real food at these places as well as "ready made" real food... Really they do.

But really, what's to stop you from making a nice deli sandwich and a salad for your "brown bag" lunch? Nothing but apathy and laziness, in which case perhaps you were meant to be a fat masturbater.

Re:Take Responsibility For Your Life (1)

Marurun (1938210) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771128)

Maybe the southeast coast is different, but where I live you don't have all night diners because they don't feel like being robbed. The only 24-hour store for food here is a Wal-Mart, which after 12:00 A.M. isn't exactly a place you want to be visiting. I do agree though -- what is stopping somebody from making their own lunch? Being too lazy to go to the store and buy your regular, easily prepared ingredients to make lunch/dinner isn't exactly a good excuse.

Re:Take Responsibility For Your Life (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771408)

I think my point was that by being forced to make your own lunch you tend towards healthier food as well. Denny's may be around sometimes but it's not necessarily the healthy option.

Quite a lot of corporate buildings are built well away from your basic amenities, stuck in an industrial park for instance. More encouragement to bring a brown bag with you.

Re:Take Responsibility For Your Life (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771828)

I think my point was that by being forced to make your own lunch you tend towards healthier food as well.

I agree...

And these days, it is neither hard nor time consuming to make a decent sandwich and pack a salad...

Deli sliced meat, cheese, stone-ground mustard, lettuce of your choice, on deli rye / whole wheat (or if you must, Wonderbread), pre-chopped lettuce and a bottle of vinaigrette... Can of soda or juice

Total prep time, 10 minutes.

As well, there is little excuse not exercise if you want, even if it means just a swift walk around the warehouse / building / parking lot. Buy some dumb-bells or clime the stairs. Many employee locker rooms even have showers.

If you lead a sedentary life that involves unhealthy diet and a lack of exercise, sorry, you really can not blame it on your work schedule.

Re:Take Responsibility For Your Life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771808)

Pussy.

In contrast (2)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770106)

Daytime IT workers are not overweight and have plenty of sex?

Re:In contrast (0)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770492)

Absolutely. Daytime IT workers get more fame, recognition, money, glory, slack and poontang than you chubby 3rd shifters could possibly dream of.

simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770120)

eat right, exercise and have sex on the floor of the customer service department with your coworker, it worked for me

Causality Issue Detected (1)

craznar (710808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770124)

I chose late night work because I am fat and undersexed.

Not supprising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770126)

Humans are designed to be conscious during the day. Working at night cuts down on social interactions with others including your significant other (if they are awake during the day). Not to mention humans need to sun to function. Seasonal depression anyone? Look at people in Alaska during the dark sessions and you will see what, lack of sun, can do to people.

Re:Not supprising. (2)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770182)

Your post makes me SAD. =(

Re:Not supprising. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770356)

typical extraverts...projecting their priorities/imperatives on everyone else and labeling noncompliance as a sickness that needs a cure.

Night shift workouts (5, Funny)

Tofino (628530) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770214)

Night shifts working in the old "cold room" computer rooms was an awesome job as a university student. In a average twelve-hour shift, there was maybe six hours of work if you really stretched things and did a little extra. Yeah, there were the panicky emergency nights where you're literally running around fixing stuff, but on average there was six hours of time to fill waiting for jobs to finish, printouts to print, and error messages to not pop up. Nighttime TV sucks. Nighttime radio sucks. There wasn't always studying to do or a paper to write. And couldn't be out of the room for longer than a longish bathroom break length of time (5 minutes maybe) just in case a problem happened. That meant plenty of time to:

  • - Chair race with the security guard around the cold room floor. Excellent rolling surface! Avoid the giant vaxen and Big Blue Monolith for higher score.
  • - Go for a walk up and down the stairs. Six flights! 14 stairs on each flight except between the 2nd and 3rd floor, where one flight had 13. Never worked that one out. Back to the room in under five minutes.
  • - Go down to the weight room, grab a couple dumbbells, bring them back up . Random dumbbell exercises in the room. Put them back in the weight room before the 5am fitness nutters come in.
  • - Sitting on an operating high speed line printer acts like one of those vibrate-the-weight-off machines. Okay, I never did that one, but female colleagues may have. Or my girlfriend. Allegedly.

Great job that I'm not sure even exists anymore. But I was the Buff Operator From Hell for those few years.

Re:Night shift workouts (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771800)

Go for a walk up and down the stairs. Six flights! 14 stairs on each flight except between the 2nd and 3rd floor, where one flight had 13.

The fact that you know how many stairs there are just shows how boring the job must have been.

Re:Night shift workouts (1)

BeaverCleaver (673164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771884)

+1 here. I used to work the graveyard shift on a helpdesk for tax software, and it was the sweetest entry-level gig I ever had. Midnight until 8am. We got about 10% more money per hour for doing it, and it was way more relaxed than the day shift. Hardly anyone is doing their taxes at 4am. Management isn't there to make sure I'm wearing a tie, or that my feet aren't on the desk, or whatever bee is in their bonnet that day. Starting at midnight means that you can go out in the evening, have dinner with friends, see a movie, whatever. I used to ride my bike to work, because there's no traffic on the road at midnight, so it's easy.

Diet, exercise, and socialising were easy. My girlfriend did get grumpy about it though, so yes, the "undersexed" aspect seems accurate!

Swing shift (1)

keith_nt4 (612247) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770228)

Well I'm only the "swing" shift so maybe this doesn't apply to me (from 2pm to 11pm). I get home around 11:30pm. I have trained myself over the last year to be able to shower and go straight to bed when I get home (asleep by midnight). No TV or computer games. That way I have the next day to take a walk in the sun and go grocery shopping. I also haven't bothered with any kind of cable TV. No point in that really. I mean if I had a PVR of some kind then I could what? Spend several hours every day when i wake up watching last night's TV? No thanks. In fact even things I could following on Hulu I've instead found other stuff to do instead. If I really want to watching something it's on Netflix like ST:TNG. I try to have a semi-normal time breakfast and lunch and dinner at work around 7pm. Just can't do anything with friends and family at normal times like between 5pm and 10pm. No WoW raids (not necessarily a bad thing) and no dinner visits with family (would be nice sometimes). I am actually really tired and generally lacking in energy but then I was like that when I had normal hours. At least going to bed at midnight I have the option of staying in bed until noon if I really feel like it...

Re:Swing shift (2)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770612)

I dislike being awake for 4-5 hours before work, it makes the end of the work shift really drag. I really need my free time to come after work and before bedtime, rather than after bedtime and before work.

Check your source (0)

schlameel (1017070) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770240)

Come on /. A Google search reveals Men's Health Network is selling Viagra and Cialis. How odd they suggest I need more sex.

In related news... (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770246)

IT Day Shift Workers: Fat and Undersexed

Not my experience (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770312)

Back when I was younger and worked a night shift (4pm to midnight) the sex was great. Senior management couldn't be bothered to hang around and our shift turned into a big orgy*.

There's a valid argument about getting adequate sunlight. But that can be done on the 4-12pm shift. Just hit the sack when you get home. Wake up a bit later then the masses. You've got the day to yourself after the 9 to 5 shift folks have gone to the office. The stores, coffee shops and gym are uncrowded.

*If your staff isn't that hot, you've got the day off. With all the housewives. Studies have shown that the best time for sex is mid-afternoon. Forget stories about orgies late into the night. People who get it on late in the evening do so because of kids or crappy work schedules.

Re:Not my experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770684)

4pm to midnight isn't a night shift. It's an evening shift. Now, midnight-8am? That's a night shift.

Re:Not my experience (1)

dark grep (766587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771058)

Where did you work, and are they hiring?

Fat poeple like the night... (2)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770328)

cause its harder to see how fat they are.

Re:Fat poeple like the night... (0)

VAElynx (2001046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770430)

Yeah, we are the new vampires. Scary, intelligent and hungry.
And we don't even sparkle.

Re:Fat poeple like the night... (1)

Missing_dc (1074809) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771318)

Real vampires do not sparkle ( damn glitter sparkle fairies crowding our space)....

Re:Fat poeple like the night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771516)

I love how the parent said 'they' and you said 'we.' Fat-ass.

This isn't a study, it's advertising. (5, Informative)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770480)

Come on, Slashdotters. I thought you cared about science. This "study" is awful.

1) Experimental controls. According to the article, lots of shift workers think their work impacts their lives, and are worried about their weight and their sex lives. Guess what? EVERYBODY hates their work, and is worried about their weight and their sex lives. How about asking people who *aren't* shift workers, and seeing if shift workers have bigger problems than the average Joe?

2) Conflict of interest. The summary says the study is by "Men's Health Network", but the linked article says it's by "Men's Health Network and Cephalon". Who's this "Cephalon"? Oh, they're a drug company. [cephalon.com] What sort of drugs do they make? take a wild freakin' guess. [nuvigil.com]

So, congrats on sucking down free advertising from a drug company trying to turn your life into a treatable medical condition, without a single moment of skepticism.

Re:This isn't a study, it's advertising. (2)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770582)

Exactly. And you didn't mention from TFA:

While the survey shows infers that shift workers may be overweight, the issue extends far beyond this group, and into the general population of the United States, including children. Childhood obesity is at all all time high in America and that has nothing to do with the night shift.

So is this a problem particular to night shift workers, or is it a general problem of our society? The article says both. What a terrible article and study.

Re:This isn't a study, it's advertising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771136)

They're trying to push the new drug for 'shit work disorder', whose list of side effects take 45 seconds of the 60 second commercial.

In any event, if you keep a standard (by hours, not by daylight) schedule, it works fine... or it did for me.

Re:This isn't a study, it's advertising. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771834)


2) Conflict of interest. The summary says the study is by "Men's Health Network", but the linked article says it's by "Men's Health Network and Cephalon". Who's this "Cephalon"? Oh, they're a drug company. [cephalon.com] What sort of drugs do they make? take a wild freakin' guess. [nuvigil.com]

THIS. I agreed with you a couple hours ago, but I'm sitting here reading Wikipedia and BOOM, guess what comes on the radio? An ad for nuvigil. This post is so clearly just another prong in their latest marketing push it's nauseating.

This isn't news (1)

farseeker (2134818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770536)

Anyone who has ever lived with a shift worker doesn't need some fucking study tell them this.

I've been married for years to an RN, so I can tell you first hand that almost anyone who works shift, the first thing to go is their energy, and sex is an immediate victim. In fact, all of those issues related to a lack of energy.

Re:This isn't news (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771642)

Your experience gets nullified by my graveyard porn store job, on all counts you mention.

Sorry, pal. Your controls are weak and thus you have no valid experiment or conclusion.

Re:This isn't news (1)

farseeker (2134818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771668)

My apologies, I forgot, /. is just Year 10 science class all over again

Re:This isn't news (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771714)

More like year 7 science class, where we learned and practiced the scientific method.

And where you should have damn-well remembered what to do after all these years, you failed.

Oh, wait, you have a UID in the two millions. Nevermind, you got killed by Dubya a long time ago.

my ongoing shift work experience (1)

CoriolisSTORM (1144301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770562)

I am not an IT guy by any means, but I am a swing shift worker in a factory. My schedule includes two days of 3-11, two 11am-11pm days and then two more at 3-11. Im off two days and go back in for 2 days on 11pm-11am. Then I turn around the next day and work 7am-3pm for 5 days. Then, off two days and go back in on 11pm-7am. Then its off for 5 days total then rinse ne repeat. Not a fun schedule, and the guys that get to day shift permaneantly typically lose 20-40 lbs when they quit rotating. I've found personally that the midnight shifts leave me feeling worst, depression, lonliness and general angst are my best friends during the midnight rotations. I've found it affects my family just as much if not more than me because I'm so fun to deal with. On a related note, it takes me several days off to recover from the feelings incurred on the midnight shift. I suspect it'd be easier working one permaneant shift. One more thing then I'll get off my soap box, the divorce rate with this kind of work is ridiculous! I suspect that maybe the schedule has a lot to do with it...

http://www.betterwholesaler.us (-1, Offtopic)

orangeas (2373152) | more than 3 years ago | (#36770846)

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Spam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36770936)

n/t

I accidentally the logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771246)

Shift workers ... okay
Sex life, bad ... okay
THink of the Children!! ... Wat?

The solution (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771254)

Legalize and regulate prostitution in the US. Then books like "How to Lose Weight Through Sex" can be put into practice. I bet French IT workers aren't undersexed.

You'd have to pay me... (1)

__Paul__ (1570) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771288)

...an absolute shitload of money to get me to do shift work. Hell, I refuse to even do on-call anymore.

A few years ago, $BIGCORP tried to get my team to do shift work for an indeterminate period. They wouldn't tell us how long it was for, and also wouldn't tell us what sort of overtime pay we'd get for it. They even had the gall to say they would be "disappointed" if no-one took them up on the offer. Funnily enough, no-one did.

The Ill Effects of Shiftwork (1)

carolsim (221998) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771528)

They call it the graveyard shift for a reason, ya know.

Re:The Ill Effects of Shiftwork (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36771542)

I guess you've never worked a graveyard shift at a 24-hour porn store.

Guess what I do in 4 hours from now?

Guess what I weigh?

This study is just bullshit. Pure and simple bullshit with ZERO true controls (Yes, I read the study, I have full access as research director for a multinational corporation.)

This study is bunk and biased. PLUS I enjoy a better sex life versus the majority.

Re:Study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36771602)

I can attest to the IT field as contributing to weight concerns and general health issues, for sure!

I've worked in IT ever since I graduated high school. I'm close to 30 now and develop web apps for a living.

So here I am today, still doing stuff behind a computer. I struggle with keeping my weight in check and while I do a good job at it, it is hard to keep it going everyday, mostly because of the mental requirements of maintaining a physical routine.

Here's what I do: I *try* to run about 5 miles every other day, but it usually pans-out to be 2.5-3 while I walk the remaining.

On these same days, I also work-out. I do many exercises (especially when I'm up for it), but usually, I do about 3 sets of 24 side-crunches, about 3 sets of 24 standard crunches, about 12 "pikes" (where you raise your ass up and down on one of those blow-up balls; it kicks the shit out of your gut), and finally, I try to do a variable number of arm crunches. On the days I feel great, I'll try to do some swimming, too. All of this changes with a given season as well, meaning, I'll change things up during the winter, summer, etc.

Another key to all this weigh crap is managing your diet. This is REALLY hard, especially if you gun for an all-water kind of diet with frequent (and espcially, smaller) portions of food. Eating smaller portions with increased frequency increases your metabolism which helps you lose weight faster (or at other times, increase muscle mass).

So at times, you'll exercise a lot and notice an increase in weight. This isn't always a bad thing. Sometimes, it can mean you're getting buff!

In any event, the IT field has indeed suffered much from the weight front. It sucks with this in mind, but every profession has it's cons. Hell, I'd bet that any office worker in general struggles with this kind of stuff, so IT field or not, it's all relative.

Most days it's not like what I mention above. Most days, it's less due to simply being worn out. Either way, the key to this weight crap for me has been a dovetail solution of working out in a set schedule each week while increasing my metabolism through consistent intake with a primary emphasis on lower portions.

Out of all this stuff, though, you have to change how you think about things. This is the ultimate key. You have to believe in yourself and maintain the fact that the results will not happen overnight.

(Okay, I'm done now with the whole coach talk. Sorry for the soapbox guys / gals.)

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