Light and Shiftwork

Duration:2020 - 2022

Shortcut: IPA-166-Light

Project Management: Dr. S. Rabstein


The aim of the study is to improve health of employees by implementing circadian lighting strategies. The project will investigate the short and long-term effects of three intervention strategies on employees in the metal industry.


Light is important for the ability to concentrate and thus to prevent mistakes and accidents at work. However, frequently changing and unnatural light profiles can lead to a desynchronization of biological circadian rhythms and are therefore discussed to be a rsik factor for the development of sleep disorders and a number of diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The effects of new, dynamic lighting systems in the workplace have only been studied in a few occupational health studies.

Study design

In this intervention study, employees in a three-shift system with night shifts as well as in a two-shift system with early and late shifts will be studied. Three important strategies to improve individual light profiles will be tested 1) dynamic lighting during the day, 2) dynamic lighting in the evening and during the night shift and 3) individualized light recommendations.

The study will generate practice-relevant knowledge about the effects of the use of dynamic lighting systems at the workplace, taking into account individual factors of the employees. The intervention will provide an important data basis for simple and innovative measures to improve health at work for employers, employees and policy makers in the area of occupational health and safety.