Working too much can lead to drinking too much. Researchers have warned people against this double excess that can damage your health in a study published on Wednesday. It looked at Belgians. The analysis of a series of studies involving more than 400,000 people shows that individuals who work more than 48 hours a week are more likely to drink so much that it damages their health. 48 hours is more than the European directive on working hours allows. These conclusions appear in the study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
A risky consumption of alcohol is more than 14 alcoholic drinks a week for a woman and more than 21 for a man, the authors say.
The reference for a drink is generally a “unit” of alcohol, 10 grams of pure alcohol. This is a standard serving (at a bistrot or bar), like a small glass of whisky (3 centiliters or cl) a glass of wine (10-12 cl) or a pint of beer (25-50 cl).
The individual data shows that people working 48 to 54 hours a week, or more than 55 hours a week, have a proportionately higher risk (13% and 12% respectively) of drinking too much. This is compared to employees working 35 to 40 hours a week.
Long working hours has also been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, accidents at work and mental health problems, the authors add.
This research, done by an international team, involved 14 developed countries: Germany, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Spain, the US, France, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, Sweden and Taiwan.