Research conducted at the University of California, Berkeley suggests that flight attendants and employees who frequently travel between time zones may suffer from long-term memory loss due to jet-lag.
Scientists examined hamsters who were subjected to six-hour time shifts twice a week for a month and found that the rodents experienced impaired learning and memory function when compared with a control group.
Furthermore, the time changes affected cell maturation in the hippocampus region of the animals’ brains, and negative effects lasted for more than four weeks.
Results of the study suggest that airlines and organizations with employees who make frequent business trips across time zones should take steps to reduce workplace stress. Employee wellness programs can include tools and resources on stress management and healthy sleep patterns.
“The evidence is overwhelming that disruptions in circadian timing have a direct impact on human health and disease,” said Lance Kriegsfeld, the study’s co-author.
In addition to providing stress relief tools to employees, organizations may also want to ensure that workers receive comprehensive health benefits to maintain a healthy staff.