How to Survive Long Hours at Manufacturing Jobs


Manufacturing employees often work long hours standing on their feet. Many work a swing shift or a rotating schedule, and their work hours may change every week. To thrive in a challenging manufacturing work environment, plan ways to meet your physical and mental requirements. Get adequate sleep, follow a healthy diet and take care of your feet.

Workers examining a product on an assembly line.
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If you work swing or nighttime hours, schedule your sleep time and stick to the schedule. You may be tempted to spend your time away from work running errands or catching up with friends. Save these activities for your days off and spend this time recharging through sleep. Avoid caffeine and exercise before your scheduled bedtime, and set up your bedroom to enhance your sleep experience. For example, hang up dark, light-resistant curtains to block sunlight from entering the windows. Turn off your phone and the television, and play classical music or nature sounds if you find them soothing.

Man installing curtains.
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Consume healthy snacks during your work shift, rather than relying on easy-to-get junk food. Prepare balanced meals and create single-serving-size packages to take with you to work. Healthy meals will help you maintain your energy during physical work and late hours.

Bowl filled with baby carrots.
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Use light to trick your body into waking up for your shift, if you routinely head to work in darkness. Turn on the lights in your bedroom when your alarm goes off. The light sends a signal through the retinas in your eyes that it is time to be awake and alert. Conversely, if you commute home in daylight, wear dark glasses to prepare you for sleep when you arrive at home.

Woman reaching for an alarm clock.
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Invest in a comfortable pair of shoes with supportive insoles for a job that requires you to be on your feet for many hours. Standing for long periods of time puts pressure on your hips, knees, ankles and feet. Choose shoes that are wide enough for your feet to fit without being squeezed. Verify that the insoles are shock- absorbing. Purchase additional insoles to add support and relieve pressure on the rest of your body.

Shoes on a store's shelves.
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