Working too hard can drive you to drink, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal

After a particularly long day at the office, a large G&T can help take the edge off, right?


Turns out the old wives' tale that says working too hard can drive you to drink is true, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.


The study, which analysed the behaviour of more than 400,000 people, found that working over 48 hours per week can lead to "risky" drinking – you know, where one drink turns into two, three, four …


The paper defined "risky" alcohol use as consuming more than 14 units per week for a woman and over 21 for a man – one unit is equivalent to a third of a pint of medium-strength beer or half a 175ml glass of red wine with 12% alcohol.


Those who worked 49-54 hours a week ran a 13% higher risk of falling into this category than those who worked a 35-40 hour week. People working 55 hours of more per week were 12% more at risk than those working between 35 and 40 hours a week.


Cassandra Okechukwu from the Harvard School of Public Health wrote in the BMJ: “This meta-analysis supports the longstanding suspicion that among workers subjected to long working hours, alcohol can seem like a fast action and effective way to dull work-related aches and pains and smooth the transition between work life and home life.”

She warned that these risks should be taken seriously, adding: “These findings could add impetus to further regulation of working hours as a public health intervention.”

Do you think the number of hours you work affects how much you drink? Let us know in the comments box below ...