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Lack of rest takes toll on police officer health: study

July 25, 2012

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Iowa City, IA – Shift work and inadequate rest may put police officers at risk for health problems, concludes a study from the University of Iowa.

Researchers surveyed 85 male police officers 22 to 63 years old and found those who slept fewer than six hours a night were more vulnerable to chronic fatigue, obesity, diabetes and heart disease, a university press release stated. Additionally, officers on evening and night shifts were 14 times more likely to sleep poorly than their day-shift counterparts. They also worked more back-to-back shifts.

More than 80 percent of police on late shifts said they sometimes had to report to work early the next morning. One reason was court appearances, so researchers recommended changing the morning time for court appearances to allow for more rest.

The study was published in the May issue of Workplace Health & Safety.

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