Adherence to dietary and physical activity guidelines among shift workers: associations with individual and work-related factors

Ciara Kelly, Fiona M Nea, L. Kirsty Pourshahidi, John M Kearney, Victoria M O'Brien, Barbara Livingstone, Clare A Corish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
104 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Shift work is associated with adverse effects on the health and lifestyle behaviours of employees. This study aimed to examine factors associated with adherence among shift workers to selected indicators of dietary and physical activity guidelines. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 1300 shift workers. Data were collected using a 15 minute telephone-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression methods were used for data analysis. Results: Male shift workers (p<0.001, OR=0.55, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.74) and those of lower socioeconomic status (p=0.046, OR=0.75, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.99) were significantly less likely to consume five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Shift workers with access to workplace vending machines were significantly more likely to consume soft drinks at least weekly (p=0.003, OR=1.64, 95% CI 1.18 to 2.27). Middle-aged shift workers (p=0.012, OR=0.65, 95% CI 0.46 to 0.91) and those reporting insufficient break times at work (p=0.026, OR=0.69, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.96) were significantly less likely to be sufficiently active. Conclusions: Individual, work schedule and workplace environment related factors were independently associated with selected indicators of adherence to dietary and physical activity guidelines in this cohort of shift workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health
Issue number2
Early online date23 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished online - 23 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The original study was supported by safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board, under Grant No. (10-2013).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 BMJ Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Shift work
  • dietary guidelines
  • physical activity guidelines
  • dietary patterns


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