Focus on Fatigue

Some good news for shift workers: Diet and exercise make a difference!

By March 8, 2022 No Comments

Issue #73- March 2022

Welcome to Focus on Fatigue!

It’s been a busy few months here at InterDynamics and we are excited to share with you what we’ve been up to.

Our feature article also looks at two recent studies that offer hope for the long term health of shift workers.

We trust you find this issue interesting and informative.

The FRMS Team



Views expressed in articles and links provided are those of the individual authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of InterDynamics (except where directly attributed).

InterDynamic News

FAID Quantum Web Service

We are excited to let you know that we have been working hard behind the scenes creating FAID Quantum Web Service. This web based version of FAID Quantum will offer convenience and accessibility along with a modernized user interface. FAID Quantum Web Service will allow us to service an even broader market; expanding our range of options to suit your requirements. FAID Quantum Web Service is still in the early stages of release but is available for trial by visiting and signing up for a free trial account. We welcome your feedback!

Covid Resilient Rostering

We have assisted a number of companies with bespoke Roster Design Solutions, taking into account fatigue and other context specific considerations. Most recently this has included “COVID resilience”; to minimise potential impact of COVID disruption. It is always satisfying looking at a challenging problem and developing workable solutions.

Nimbus Integration

We are pleased to announce that InterDynamics have recently partnered with nimbus to integrate FAID Quantum into nimbus’ time2work system. You can read more about the integration here.

Some good news for shift workers

Diet and exercise do make a difference!

We are constantly hearing about the health implications of shift work and poor sleep, and it is rarely good news. We know that shift workers are at increased risk of health problems, such as digestive upsets, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and certain cancers, to name a few. However, two recent studies offer some hope.

A study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that exercising according to World Health guidelines could help counteract adverse health outcomes associated with poor sleep. The study particularly looked at cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality. Both poor sleep and physical inactivity have previously been associated with health risks. The study found that while poor sleep is still associated with these negative health outcomes, engaging in moderate to high levels of physical activity appeared to minimise the risk.

Meal Timing
Another study, supported by the National Institutes of Health, looked at the impact of meal timing in night shift work. Eating at nighttime was found to boost glucose levels, while restricting meals to the daytime prevented the high blood sugar linked to night shift work. The effects on glucose are believed to be due to circadian misalignment. Restricting meals to the daytime, may therefore reduce health risks linked to night shift work, particularly diabetes.

Future Interventions
Although there is no substitute for sleep, and more research is needed, studies such as these do offer hope for shift workers. They could lead to practical interventions and assist shift workers to proactively influence their health outcomes.


  • Chellappa S, Qian J, Vujovic N, et al. (2021) Daytime eating prevents internal circadian misalignment and glucose intolerance in night work. Science Advances 7(49).
  • Huang B, Duncan MJ, Cistulli PA, et al. (2021) Sleep and physical activity in relation to all-cause, cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality risk. British Journal of Sports Medicine.
  • Hulsegge, G., Proper, K.I., Loef, B. et al. (2021) The mediating role of lifestyle in the relationship between shift work, obesity and diabetes. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 941287–1295.
  • Monnaatsie M, Biddle S, Khan S & Kolbe-Alexander T. (2021) Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in shift and non-shift workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Preventive Medicine Reports24.

In The News

Provided below are a selection of articles from around the web on the issues associated with fatigue. We hope you find them useful and interesting.

High physical activity levels may counter serious health harms of poor sleep

BMJ, Science Daily, June 2021
Physical activity levels at or above the weekly recommended amounts may counter the serious health harms associated with poor sleep quality, suggests a large long term study.

Moving more a shift in the right direction for shift workers

University of Southern Queensland, November 2021
A study by University of Southern Queensland researchers has highlighted the need to improve physical activity among shift workers.

Daytime meals may reduce health risks linked to night shift work

NIH, Science Daily, December 2021
A small clinical trial has found that eating during the nighttime — like many shift workers do — can increase glucose levels, while eating only during the daytime might prevent the higher glucose levels now linked with a nocturnal work life.

Blessed are the shift workers: but how well-rested are they?

Georgia Stynes, ABC, February 2022
In this audio discussion, Siobhan Banks, Director of the Behaviour-Brain-Body Research Centre at the University of South Australia, joined Georgia Stynes to talk about the relationship between sleep and shift workers. They also touch on the role of diet and exercise.

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