A lot of unemployed people are settling for any job they can get, and in many cases, this means cooking fast food or being a waitress or waiter in a restaurant. If this is your first job that involves shift work, it can be tiring–but is it DANGEROUS? Is it bad for your health?

A recent study found that shift work at a young age is associated with elevated long-term cortisol levels and increased blood pressure. Previous studies have shown that long-term elevated cortisol levels lead to increased abdominal obesity, hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular risk.

Researchers collected hair samples from 33 shift workers and 89 day workers. When cortisol was extracted from the hair samples and measured, they found that long-term cortisol levels were significantly increased in individuals working in shifts, especially in study participants younger than 40 years.

Shift work, defined as work performed primarily outside standard working hours, has been associated with increased incidences of obesity, hypertension and insulin resistance, ultimately leading to an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Researcher Laura Manenschijn says, “Our findings show that cortisol might play an important part in the development of obesity and increased cardiovascular risk for those working in shifts.” 

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