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Hacks and IT workers boozing themselves silly

IT journalists toast Department of Health survey

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It's official: Media professionals are the UK's heaviest boozers, followed by IT workers and "service-sector" operatives.

That's according to a Department of Health survey which found that hacks and the like are working their way through roughly 44 units a week - resolutely ignoring NHS recommended limits of 21 to 28 units for chaps and 14 to 21 for chapesses.

IT bods, meanwhile, average 34 units. The service sector quaffs 33 units, followed by "people in finance, insurance and real estate at 29 units", as the Guardian puts it.*

At the bottom of the alcohol roll of honour are teachers and drivers, of whom about half dutifully keep tabs on their unit intake.

Half-cut media types also triumph when it comes to knocking back wine and spirits - averaging a weekly one-and-a-half bottles of the former and 3.2 measures of the latter. This excess is, however, partly driven by peer-group pressure, with 29 per cent of them admitting "they sometimes felt pressured to drink by their colleagues" - a sentiment shared by a similar percentage of pub-bound IT workers.

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, opined: "This survey illustrates how work colleagues can influence how much we drink, even when we want to cut back.

"After-work drinks are often part of the fabric of our working lives, and it's often tempting to go along with the crowd, even when you know your body needs a rest.

"It seems some industries are particularly prone to this effect - especially those where entertaining clients or colleagues goes hand in hand with a drink."

The solution to this is, Willmott reckons, for employers to "set clear policies on alcohol misuse warning against drinking to a level that affects work and health, and advise employees that support is available to deal with alcohol dependency". ®

Bootnote

*Yeah, we know. Real estate? WTF is real estate, eh? These Americanisms are enough to drive you to drink. Oh, hold on...

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