Working Nights May Lead to Weight Gain
The classic 9 to 5 grind is one of the most often cited reasons as to why obesity is such a problem in the United States. Every morning tens of millions of Americans wake up and leave the house, only to find a seat in their office and to stay sedentary for eight to ten hours when they go home, exhausted, and eventually go to bed. This lifestyle is not conducive to weight loss as it doesn’t provide enough time in the day for physical activity.
But this daily routine may actually be better for your health and weight loss goals than some of the alternatives. Researchers have found that working the night shift is particularly damaging to your weight loss goals, and that people who regularly work nights instead of the more traditional day shifts are more likely to be overweight or even obese.
Working Towards Weight Loss
A recent meta-analysis looking at the data of almost 300,000 individuals found that people who work night shifts are 23 percent more likely to be obese than are those who work standard day shifts. And this is just on average. When narrowed down to consider only those who work the night shift exclusively and long-term, the increased risk of obesity skyrocketed up to just under 50 percent. This means that there is a significant increase in likelihood that if you are being asked to work nights, you may find yourself putting on weight.
Researchers were quick to point out that the study merely highlighted a correlation between working night shifts and being overweight, and were not confident in saying that starting to work night shifts would cause an individual to gain weight. The association, however, is worth looking into further.
Working nights is hard on the body. It causes your sleeping patterns to be irregular, increases your consumption of fast-food for major meals like breakfast and dinner, and may reduce the amount of time spent exercising as you attempt to catch-up on sleep during the day. These factors could play a big role in increasing the risk of obesity. The longer you are coping with these daily struggles, the more likely you are to struggle with excess weight.
For some people, working a night shift isn’t an option—it is a requirement. Working the night shift doesn’t mean that you have to deal with obesity, it just means that you may need to take your weight loss and health efforts a bit more seriously as you are exposed to increased risk for weight gain. Weight loss surgery can provide you with the additional support you need to make the healthy choices necessary to help you lose weight and keep it off.