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Workaholics more inclined to alcoholic drinks, says survey

02 March 2015 [11:00] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Mushvig Mehdiyev

Just a few people in the world would agree to work more than the average time per week. First of all, most people want to spend their post-work time with their family, go for a walk, visit relatives and etc.

But, today a new reason is preventing people from being a workaholic: working too hard can drive you to drink more, said researchers, warning of the double alcohol-related health risks.

An overview of studies covering more than 400,000 people proved that individuals who work for over 48 working hours per week- the European Union's suggested maximum- are more likely to consume "risky" quantities of alcohol.

The BMJ journal, a London-based international peer reviewed medical journal, reported that long working hours boosts the possibility of higher alcohol intake by 11 percent overall.

People who work 49-54 hours a week are exposed to a 13 percent higher risk of developing a risky alcohol use habit compared to others who work 35-40-hour per week.

Working 55 hours or more expose workers to 12 percent more risk.

Ibrahim Ibrahimov, a psychologist in Azerbaijan told AzerNews that excessive working hours lead people to gradually lose their spontaneous way of living and live a "robotic" life in a continuous stress.

Many working people involved in the surveys in Azerbaijan said working too hard caused stress in them and deprived them of spending their time with family, friends, said Ibrahimov.

"More working hours reduce the sociability, as well as cause insomnia among people. Being far from correlation and sleepy nights usually result in several mental disturbances. Thereby, many people turn to alcoholic drinks to get rid of psychological disorders and job fatigue," he added.

Ibrahimov said overworking could even drive some people into depression, reducing their desire and energy to work.

"Drinking alcohol is the best way for workaholics to escape from the stress, aggression, boredom and problems. They somehow anesthetize themselves through alcoholic beverages for some period of time," he noted.

"Risky" alcohol usage is defined as more than 14 units per week for a woman and more than 21 for a man. Higher alcohol intake may well make a ground for a higher risk for liver and heart disease, cancer, stroke and mental disorders.

An alcohol unit is equal to a third of a pint of medium-strength beer, a half of a 175-millilitre glass of red wine with 12 percent alcohol by volume, or a 25 milliliters shot of whisky.

More than a dozen developed economies were covered by the research, including Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States.

"This meta-analysis supports the longstanding suspicion that alcohol can seem like a fast acting and effective way to eliminate the dull work-related aches and pains, and smooth the transition between work life and home life among workaholics," said Cassandra Okechukwu of the Harvard School of Public Health.

The results of the mentioned survey is not new, as long working hours have previously been linked to cardiovascular disease, depression and anxiety.

Okechukwu added that having a job is associated with a lower prevalence of alcohol consumption and a higher chance of recovery from alcohol misuse than being unemployed.

"The risk should be taken seriously. Any sign presumably linked to avoidable increases in disease or health damaging behavior, or both, warrants careful examination," said Okechukwu.

Heavy drinking can have a long-term effect on employees’ performance, including absenteeism, inefficiency, poor decision-making and damaged customer relations, according to a Britain-based Institute of Alcoholic Studies. The institute claims that a raised blood alcohol level while at work jeopardizes both efficiency and safety by increasing the likelihood of mistakes, errors of judgement, and accident proneness.

World Health Organization reported in its Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2014 that worldwide alcohol consumption in 2010 was equal to 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per person aged 15 years or older. Moreover, harmful use of alcohol results in the deaths of 2.5 million people worldwide annually, causes illness and injury to millions more, and increasingly affects younger generations and drinkers in developing countries.

WHO's report in 2011 also revealed that alcohol caused nearly 4 percent of deaths worldwide, more than AIDS, tuberculosis or violence.

Vodka says: "Trust me, you can dance", but Mahatma Gandhi said: "Alcohol is not the answer to all the questions". Killing the boring time with alcohol is deliberately killing the health. Health is hardly recovered once it is lost, so, try to say "no" to alcohol wherever you are, either at work or at a barbecue party.


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