9–5 is the typical day for a Canadian worker, but a significant percentage of Canada’s working population works regular night or rotating shifts, regular evening shifts, split shifts, or are working on call or with irregular schedules. Shiftwork does have its benefits: for example, it can be better paid, can be more convenient for childcare, and can allow workers to pursue other hobbies or family activities.
Yet despite these social benefits, shiftwork has numerous negative impacts on the human body, including sleep disruption, lifestyle disturbance, exposure to less sunshine, and exposure to light at night. There are also other less obvious impacts of shiftwork, including the suppression of melatonin, disruption of diet and physical activity, and decrease in vitamin D. Shiftwork can also impact the workplace itself, potentially leading to increased injury rates, absences due to illness, and mental health issues such as depression, stress, or disrupted work-life balance. But in a global, 24 hour business world, shift work is here to stay. So what can be done to minimize it’s negative impact on both employees and employers?
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified shiftwork, and its correlation with circadian disruption, as probably carcinogenic, or having the potential to cause cancer. In this webinar, Dr. Paul A. Demers will explain the major arguments that justified this stance. Paul will present the scientific evidence, and will examine recent studies that have shed light on the association between shiftwork and different types of cancer, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and others.