Principal Investigator: Professor Melinda Mills
Institution: University of OxfordTags: 32696, family, genetics, night-shifts, shift work, sleep
Non-standard schedules, shift and night work have been studied primarily in relation to detrimental consequences of health and disease outcomes. The aim of this study is to shift to understanding the antecedents or multiple psychosocial, environmental and genetic factors that contribute to an individual’s resilience to remain in non-standard schedules. Key psychosocial, environmental and genetic factors include the ability to cope with: employment conditions and work strain (including commuting, working conditions), duration and regularity of nonstandard hours, psychosocial strain and well-being, chronotype (sleep, morning or evening preference), genetic factors and satisfaction and structure of family relationships. This project will contribute to a better understanding of modifiable employment practices to support workers engaged in non-standard schedules and their families. In this way it meets the UK Biobank’s core access policy of focussing on health-related material that is also in the public interest. Nonstandard work schedules will be examined with a focus on occurrence of shift or night shifts, intensity (number of days and rest periods) and duration in shift (taking into account employment history). Analyses will examine the cross-sectional association with non-standard shifts and multiple factors, but by integrating employment history, take in account the duration within this type of current job (i.e., resilience), intensity (number of hours, consecutive shifts, rest periods) and frequency.
The PI and research group have multiple publications on non-standard schedules and GWAS of complex behavioural phenotypes (e.g., two Nature Genetics in 2016). The full cohort would be examined to compare those in non-standard schedules (case) and those outside of these schedules (control). Of the 287,857 participants available (of 301,199 items of data), 51,490 have a job that involves shift work sometimes (22,191), usually (6,352) or always (22,970). Of the 50,952 participants available (of 52,254 items), 26,305 work night shifts sometimes (14,843), usually (4,090) or always (7,371). These also vary by the regularity and job history.