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The Daily

Study: Long Work Hours, Heavy Drinking Correlated

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 13, 2015
Working LateHave you ever left the office in the late evening hours, exhausted and stressed out, and thought to yourself, "I could sure use a drink right now. Many drinks in fact." If so, you're not alone: a new study has found people who work longer hours are more likely to be heavy drinkers, according to the Harvard Business Review. The study, which came from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, found that man or woman, found that, compared to people who worked typical hours, those who work late are 12 percent more likely to be heavy drinkers, defined for the purposes of this study as 14 drinks a week for women and 21 drinks a week for men. The study also found that this result was fairly consistent across the world: people in North America, Asia, Europe and Australia all produced the same correlation between long work hours and heavy drinking. It also found that there was no difference between men and women either in this regard. While the researchers were hesitant to outright say the long work hours caused the drinking, they did find the results troubling when factoring in another study that found people who work long hours are also 40 percent more likely to develop heart disease, said the Harvard Business Review. Overall, though, they felt there were still a lot of open questions about the subject: 

“At the moment, we only have this large picture of the topic. Unanswered questions are: how long does one need to work overtime until there are harmful health effects? Is it harmful if you only have busy peaks of overwork every now and then? What if you enjoy your work and it’s highly rewarding? We hope we will get answers to these questions in our future studies," said Marianna Virtanen, one of the study's authors.