A new study from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and colleagues found that people who work long hours are more likely to become heavy drinkers. We wonder what the study would have to say about our conflation of work and drink.
Alongside her colleagues, Marianna Virtanen, a researcher at the institute, collected data from 61 studies, covering 330,000 workers across 14 countries. The findings? That working over 48 hours a week had a relation to whiskey – we mean risky – business. In the study, “risky” is defined as over 14 drinks a week for a woman, and 21 drinks a week for a man.
The study found that 11% of the people logging long hours were, generally speaking, more likely to be worryingly harder drinkers than the people who worked reasonable hours. In order to establish that this wasn’t just coincidental, the researches found a group of people in their data set who were logging in long days, but were drinking normally at the beginning of the study’s data period. They checked to see how these people were drinking 6 years later, and found that they were 12% more likely to have started hitting the bottle recklessly.
Additionally, both men and women displayed the same more work, more heavy imbibing pattern. We know that on average, men drink more worldwide than women, and this study affirms that in general, women were less risky drinkers than men. However, just like men who worked longer hours tended to drink more than men who worked an average schedule, women who spent tons of time toiling at their jobs drank more than women who didn’t.
It’s not surprising that alcohol is an obvious respite for people who are under a lot of pressure at work. After all, booze can relax you in no time and take your mind off that presentation you have to throw together. However, it would be curious to see how many of these people were actually enjoying their jobs. Perhaps participating in a career you find fulfilling is less likely to lead you to the bar. That is, unless you work here at VinePair – that would be considered overtime.
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