Talking Point: Shift, Work, and Play - Challenges facing modern shift workers


Recent decades have seen increases in the proportion of the population being awake at times opposing their natural biological drive for sleep. The ‘24/7’ world presents an environmental challenge to human physiology which has biologically adapted to the light-dark cycle. There is a growing evidence that shift work is detrimental for an individual’s health and well-being.

Medical professionals and emergency service workers comprise two of the largest shift-working populations, with any impact of shift work affecting both workers themselves, and the patients for whom they are responsible.

This talk will examine challenges facing shift workers, and the organisations that rely on them, examine how to assess problems associated with shift work, and discuss opportunities for intervention.


Dr Rowan Ogeil is a Research Fellow based in the Eastern Health Clinical School at Monash University, and Turning Point.
Rowan completed his PhD at Monash University under the tutelage of Jillian Broadbear and Shantha Rajaratnam with his dissertation investigating the effects of MDMA on sleep and circadian rhythms. These experiments were the first to demonstrate that MDMA is able to directly disrupt the body clock. Rowan has subsequently worked as a post-doc in a variety of settings, examining  how alcohol influences cognition and decision making in gambling settings with Jim Phillips prior to moving to Eastern Health where we worked in the population health team at Turning Point on studies examining alcohol-harms among risky drinking adolescents, and alcohol's contribution to burden of disease.

Rowan has held prestigious fellowships including a Peter Doherty Fellowship from the NHMRC under the mentorship of Professor Dan Lubman, and a Harvard Club of Australia fellowship where he spent time working at the Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of Dr Laura Barger. Rowan’s research in these settings has primarily focused on how drug use affects sleep in different populations including in shift-workers.

To date Rowan has authored >50 peer-reviewed publications, and he has played an active role in informing alcohol and drug policy, being Turning Point’s representative on the Alcohol Policy Coalition- a group of health and community agencies who share a concern about alcohol harms. Rowan is also passionate about building inclusive workplaces, and sits on the faculty’s Diversity and Social Inclusion committee where he has previously made recommendations regarding the award of the Dean’s award for Diversity and Inclusion.

Learn more about Rowan Ogiel