Food and Lifestyle Choices for Those Who Work in Shifts

In a highly modern job market and the use of emerging technologies, the usual understanding of work hours changes dramatically. What was once considered as the regular working hours of 7AM to 6PM is no longer the standard and most popular. Today, the new normal is to find professionals who work beyond the traditional working hours. What is more popular today is a shift work, or those that work beyond the usual 7AM to 6PM schedule. Shift work is popular in the service industry, particularly those who work in hospitals and clinics. By working at night, a person is presented with convenience, more work opportunities and less stress associated with traffic and meetings. But shift work, especially in the health care industry has its own set of problems as well. Because the schedule tends to vary, it can upset the internal clock of the body, thus affecting the quality of sleep and the nutrition that is enjoyed by the body. For example, occupational health nurses who work late nights to early mornings are prone to a change in appetite, weight loss (or weight gain) and high blood pressure. But all these can be avoided if you eat the right foods, and keep an active lifestyle.

Eat a Full Meal Before Going to Work

If you are working the night shift in the hospital, then it pays to eat your full meal before reporting for work. This should provide you with the energy to start your working day right. But this is not enough to sustain your energy for the next 8 or 9 hours of work.  To sustain your energy throughout the working schedule, you may want to eat small meals and healthy snacks at work. You can prepare healthy food and snacks that you can eat at your desk or table.

Healthy and Light Snacks to Prepare

There are a number of healthy and light snacks that you can prepare and eat on your desk. For example, you can prepare whole wheat crackers with peanut butter. This is a loaded light snack that can provide you with the calories and fiber. You also can’t go wrong with a variety of fruits as snack items. Some of the popular fruit items that are often brought to work include apples, bananas and pears. Make sure to bring a variety of fruits every week.

It is also best to stay hydrated for the rest of the shift. Drink the required amount of water, and limit caffeine intake. Although coffee can keep you active all night, remember that it should be taken in moderation.

Finally, it pays to adopt an active lifestyle. You can include a few basic exercises in your daily routine. This should not be a problem if you are wearing durable nursing shoes. Even during your ‘lunch break’, you can find time to stretch and relax your body. You can also sign up for gym membership in your area, and you can work out a few hours during your free day. All these steps can keep you healthy even if you are faced with work-related pressure at work.