The effect of a 12 week mixed-modality training intervention on the cardio-metabolic health of rotational shift workers

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Abstract

Purpose: To assess the effect of a 12 week resistance or aerobic training intervention on markers of cardio-metabolic function and sleep among male rotational shift workers.

Method: Thirty-eight sedentary, apparently healthy, male rotational shift workers were recruited and randomly allocated to a non-exercise control (CON) group, 3 sessions/week of moderate intensity continuous (MICT), or resistance training (RT) for 12 weeks in a semi-supervised setting. Pre- and post-testing assessed markers of cardio-metabolic function including peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, body composition, inflammatory markers, and 14 day actigraphy sleep assessment. 

Results: Mean session attendance across the intervention was 25 (± 7) of a possible 36 sessions. A significant group by time interaction was observed for MICT, with lower c-reactive protein (CRP) values observed post-training (P = 0.049). A significant effect for time was observed for both MICT (n = 9; P = 0.04) and RT (n = 10; P = 0.021), increasing total sleep time (TST) following a night shift post-intervention. Data redistribution regarding exercise adherence: < 24 (N-ADHERE) or ≥ 24 (ADHERE) resulted in significant pre-to-post reduction in body fat (P = 0.024) and fat mass percentage (P = 0.014) among ADHERE. No differences were observed for any intervention group on insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism or oxygen uptake.

Conclusion: The results of the current study support exercise as a valid intervention to improve the cardio-metabolic health of rotational shift workers. Average sessional attendance suggests shift workers face barriers to exercise that may need to be addressed to improve health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-130
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Science in Sport and Exercise
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2022

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