Web Content Viewer (JSR 286) - Healthy Weight

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ShiftworkerShift workers face particular challenges in reaching and/or maintaining a healthy weight. Shift workers have to cope with eating at different times of the day and night, depending on whether they’re working or on days off.

Shift workers may have disrupted sleep patterns that make them more tired and less likely to want to spend time shopping for, preparing and cooking healthy meals and snacks. 

Shift workers may also feel less energetic and may find it harder to motivate themselves to do planned exercise. They may have little free time for preparing meals or being active. So eating take away food can be an easy option. The Healthy Weight Guide has ideas on how to find time to eat healthily and be active.

If you’re a shift worker, there are some things you can do to eat more healthily, including: 3

  • Avoiding drinking too much coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks, especially near the end of your shift
  • Eating regularly and including food from all of the five food groups in your daily meals
  • Joining others, such as your family, for one meal a day, even if it’s your breakfast and their dinner time
  • Using meal and physical activity planners.

Ideas for being more active if you are a shift worker include the following:

  • Doing smaller bouts of physical activity (e.g. 10 – 15 minutes) throughout the day for convenience with hours.
  • Investigating opportunities to be physically active at home. Body weight exercises (e.g. push-ups, sit-ups, squats and lunges), exercise or yoga DVDs, and even household chores like gardening (e.g. digging and racking) and housework (e.g. vacuuming and cleaning windows) will all contribute to your daily physical activity.
  • Finding a fitness centre or gym with hours that fit your schedule.

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