Overworked People More Likely to Abuse Alcohol

drinkingbmjA recent study published in the BMJ showed that people who work more than 48 hours a week are more likely to abuse alcohol. After a study was released last year that stated more people in the United States were working longer hours than ever before, some people began to wonder how the added hours would affect workers. It turns out that those extra hours are causing some people to drink more, possibly to reduce stress.

“One view is that alcohol use alleviates stress that is caused by work pressure and working conditions. Working overtime and characteristics such as high demands and lack of control might contribute to stress at work,” explained one of the researchers on the study.

After looking into the effects of the longer hours, it was determined that the extra hours can attribute to a 13% increase in questionable drinking behavior. Questionable behavior is defined as the consumption of 21 drinks or more each week by males and the consumption of 14 drinks or more each week by females.

Researchers looked at 333,693 adults in 14 countries to gather their data. They also took information from another study involving 100,602 adults from 9 different countries and were able to pinpoint the hours that caused many to drink too much. According to the data gathered, those who worked 49-54 hours each week were 13% more likely to drink more compared to those that only work 35-40 hours a week. People who work more than 55 hours a week were still 12% more likely to drink heavier than regular full-timers.

The researchers on the study hope that businesses will keep this information in mind when determining how many hours a person should work in any given week. This information can be used for people to find other ways to reduce the amount of work-related stress in their lives, as continually resorting to alcohol will only make living much more stressful in the long run.

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