It seems that idiom "work hard, play hard" may have some truth to it afterall. Researchers have now discovered that individuals who work more, may also drink more according to a new study which shows that 48 hours of work per week or more lead to a tendency to drink a lot, in both quantity and frequency. 

The study published this week in the British Medical Journal examined about 330,000 people of different ages, working groups, and generations across fourteen countries.  According to the results, those that worked more than the norm happened to be 11 percent more predisposed to drinking heavily.

For the study, researchers specified that heavy drinking meant more than 14 drinks per week for women and 21 drinks for men per week.  That averages to 3 drinks per day for men and 2 drinks per day for women. Cassandra Okechukwu, from the Harvard School of Public Health, has written an editorial and concluded that 11 percent of the people from the 14 countries means there are 2 million people who drink heavily due to job stress and the extra hours.  The team of researchers agreed with her statements.

"The workplace is an important setting for the prevention of alcohol misuse, because more than half of the adult population are employed" Okechukwu says. "Further research is needed to assess whether preventive interventions against risky alcohol use could benefit from information on working hours."

These amounts of alcohol are considered to by risky, due to the dangers of drinking and driving and the potential health problems that it may cause including heart disease, liver problems, stroke and even cancer.

There are many factors that cause the increased alcohol usage for people who are workaholics or are forced to work hours upon hours of overtime.  Alcohol helps them survive the dull activities they must do each and every day for extended periods of time, and is also often used as a coping mechanism to handle the aches and pains associated with long hours at work.  These can include back aches, sore feet, eye problems and headaches from computers.  Long hours at the office can also cause depression, stress and increased anxiety.  Alcohol helps them deal with their situations and transition between work and home life, or escape it altogether.

Okechukwu believes that people should worry less about their jobs and spend more time worrying about their drinking habits, as it could cause lasting damage to them both physically and mentally.  She hopes that these findings also raise a flag with enterprise and business to highlight the ramifications that extended overtime can potentially have on the health and well-being of their employees in the years to come.