Long Hours at the Office Make People More Likely to Become Heavy Drinkers

After a long day or week at the office it may feel appropriate to kick back with a beer. But a recent study has found workers who clock-in more and 48 hours in a week run the risk of developing a unhealthy alcohol habit.

There's a saying: Work hard, play hard. But this kind of lifestyle may have adverse effects on people's health. After a long day or week at the office it may feel appropriate to kick back with a beer or two. But a recent study has found workers who clock-in more and 48 hours in a week run the risk of developing a habit for unhealthy alcohol consumption.


Penny Sarchet from New Scientist writes that the research spanned 14 countries from an analysis of 61 studies, taking data from a total of 330,000 people across the globe. The data collected has led researchers to conclude that longer hours boosts your likelihood of becoming a heavy drinker by 11 percent compared to those that work a normal 40 hour work week.

Marianna Virtanen at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health along with her colleagues found in their own separate research that people who worked 49 to 54 hours a week were 13 percent more likely to overindulge in their alcohol consumption. They defined over-consumption as 14 drinks for women and 21 for men.

"There was some evidence from previous studies that working long hours may be associated with unhealthy lifestyle, such as low physical activity and high alcohol use.”

Indeed, and now that this data has been gathered across multiple countries, regardless of socio-economic status and culture, we can see that longer working hours may have harmful side-effects. Workers may use alcohol as a way to get through to the next week, drinking away their worries as it were.

"We think that some people may cope with excess working hours with habits that are unhealthy, such as using alcohol. The symptoms they try to alleviate with alcohol may include stress, depression and sleep disturbances."

The authors of the study conclude that the workplace may be an important place to begin talking about alcohol misuse. But it's also important for workers to understand the risks their taking on their health by working such long hours. The researchers concluded their study, writing:

“Further research is needed to assess whether preventive interventions against risky alcohol use could benefit from information on working hours.”

Read more at New Scientist

Photo Credit: Champiofot/Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

Dead – yes, dead – tardigrade found beneath Antarctica

A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.

(Goldstein Lab/Wkikpedia/Tigerspaws/Big Think)
Surprising Science
  • Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
  • The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
  • Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less