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The most frowned upon hours of the day, 9 am to 5 pm, represent the universal working hours. With technology, the pandemic, and new job descriptions, there’s a rising number of jobs that don’t follow the traditional work timetable. According to Waterloo University researchers, however, these jobs with an undefined timetable might actually be bad for your health.

Infections are different for men and women

In a recent study, the researchers observed that inconsistent shift work can be linked to various health effects and can even leave your body susceptible to several infections. Interestingly, they also found out that the effects of inconsistent shift work were different in men and women.

 These health implications are mostly linked to the body’s internal clock. Working, eating, and sleeping at inconsistent times eventually takes a toll on your body. According to Waterloo professor Anita Layton, since the immune system is affected by the circadian clock, the body’s immunity lowers during the day. The ability to lay an immune response to an infection that occurs in the morning against one that occurs in the afternoon also depends on your gender.

Using mathematics to predict immune behavior

To test this theory, the researchers designed a mathematical table that can link the circadian clock to the body’s immune system. They also designed an extra pair of mathematical charts for men and women. These charts used complex variables like gene considerations, regulatory mechanisms for anti- and pro-inflammatory mediators. With these calculations, the researchers were able to simulate what impact a change to the circadian clock would have on the body’s immune system.

The outcome revealed that response to infections heavily depends on the time the infection occurs. The results also revealed that the time just before going to bed is the worst for your immunity. At this time, your body is least prepared for an infection. Your gender is also a great determining factor in the severity of the infection. According to Stephanie Abo, Ph.D. candidate at Waterloo, men are more likely to get severe infections at this time.