A systematic review of physical activity-based interventions in shift workers

Flahr, Hannah and Brown, Wendy J. and Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy L. (2018) A systematic review of physical activity-based interventions in shift workers. Preventive Medicine Reports, 10. pp. 323-331.


Shift workers are at increased risk of a range of chronic diseases and there is evidence to suggest that these risks can be ameliorated by physical activity. Little is known however about the efficacy of physical activity interventions in shift workers. The aim was therefore to critically review the literature to improve understanding of the efficacy of physical activity promotion initiatives for this occupational group.

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of physical activity in shift workers was conducted in 2016–2017 following the Preferred Reported Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Only seven studies were found.

None of the studies measured changes in physical activity behaviour or reported on the timing or setting of the intervention protocols. Instead, most focused on health-related outcomes including body composition, fitness and sleep. Almost all provided physical activity ‘prescriptions’ with walking or ‘aerobic activity’ as the primary intervention mode and most reported significant improvements in one of the outcome measures.

Although the findings suggest that physical activity may mitigate intermediate risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases (NCD) in shift workers, the studies offer little insight into physical activity behaviour change in this occupational group. Future research should assess actual changes in physical activity behaviour, and its determinants, as well as the reach and uptake of intervention strategies in this challenging population group.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 34638
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Health and Wellbeing
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 04:46
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 05:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: shift work; physical activity; worksite
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110699 Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health
C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Occupational Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2018.04.004.
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34638

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only