Nurses who work shifts can find it hard to get enough exercise because of their physical demands and schedules. However, regular exercise can improve health and help nurses to get the rest they need.
A smartphone-based home workout program for shift-work nurses may be a solution to these problems.
In a study published in the journal Nursing Science, researchers found that using a smartphone-based home workout program improved health outcomes for shift-work nurses.
The app encouraged nurses to work out regularly for 18 weeks. The study also found that the program reduced shift-work stress and depression among the intervention group, which resulted in increased sleep quality and quantity.
Shift-work nurses often experience many health and wellness issues, including poor sleeping habits, decreased motivation, decreased social interaction and increased risks for accidents or injuries. According to one recent study, night shift nurses are at risk of developing Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD).
Getting a good night’s rest is essential for health. Several studies have linked lack of sleep to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic conditions. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that shift workers get at least eight hours of sleep per night.
It is important for night shift nurses to incorporate healthy habits into their routines, such as exercise and a diet high in protein and fiber. In addition, the National Institutes of Health suggests that nurses discuss their health needs with their employer and colleagues.
Exercising with others can boost motivation, too. In one study, night shift nurses who exercised with their colleagues were more likely to meet weekly and monthly goals.
Another study reported that night shift nurses who took part in a fitness challenge had higher levels of self-esteem and satisfaction. They also reported that the program encouraged them to eat healthier foods and drink more water.
Other studies have shown that physical activity and sleep are associated with cancer risk. These associations are not confined to the residential environment; they can also be influenced by environmental factors such as exposures to light and noise.
Mobile health applications and fitness trackers can provide an inexpensive way to collect data on exercise and sleep. They can also be used to track health and lifestyle changes for people with a variety of medical conditions.
In a study in Korea, researchers developed a smartphone-based home workout application for shift-work nurses to increase their levels of exercise and examine its effects on health (sleep disturbance, fatigue, musculoskeletal problems, and resilience) and nursing performance. This quasi-experimental study with a nonequivalent control group recruited 54 shift-work nurses from two general wards at a hospital in Korea.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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