Leaving the office late might be changing the way you drink.
A comprehensive study recently published in The BMJ concretely identified a link between working more than 48 hours a week and “risky” drinking habits.
A research team from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health studied data from 61 studies created in 14 countries around the globe, tracking the average amount of drinks as compared to the amount of hours worked each week.
It’s important to keep in mind Finnish standards define excessive drinking habits for women as 14 servings per week and 21 for men.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define heavy drinking as only eight drinks per week for women and 15 for men.
After analyzing the data of more than 330,000 people, the team found those who spend more than 48 hours per week working are up to 13 percent more likely to drink heavily than those who stick to a regulation 40-hour schedule, regardless of socioeconomic class, age or gender.
Perhaps it’s an attempt to release stress quickly after work before an early start at the office the next day, or helps employees feel they’re getting in the appropriate amount of social time with friends and coworkers.
As lead researcher Marianna Virtanen explained to New Scientist,
We think that some people may cope with excess working hours with habits that are unhealthy…
The symptoms they try to alleviate with alcohol may include stress, depression and sleep disturbances.
Excess alcohol consumption can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, flagging work performance and weight gain.
Be careful to watch the way those drinks add up, and consider taking up a stress-relieving hobby or sport instead.
One glass of wine is fantastic, but more can create a problem that won’t help you get ahead at the office.