Academics warn hangovers have ‘serious consequences’ at work
Being hungover at work after a boozy weekend can have much bigger implications for safety than many people think, according to a new study.
A study by academics from the University of Bath warns that the effects of a heavy drinking session can last longer than people think.
In particular, researchers found that hungover workers have poorer attention, memory and psychomotor skills such as coordination and speed when compared to when sober.
And while individuals might wait until they believe there is no alcohol in the system before driving, the study suggests they could still be impaired, even after all alcohol has left their bloodstream.
The researchers also found that although many workplaces have clear policies in place regarding alcohol intoxication at work, very few cover the next day effects of drinking.
For certain jobs, the academics suggested companies should be aware of the real effects that hangovers can have, and employers should revise safety guidelines accordingly.
“In our review of 19 studies we found that hangover impaired psychomotor speed, short and long-term memory and sustained attention,” said Lead Author, Craig Gunn.
“Impaired performance in these abilities reflects poorer concentration and focus, decreased memory and reduced reaction times the day after an evening of heavy drinking. Our review also indicated limited and inconsistent research on alcohol hangover and the need for future studies in the field”.
And Senior Author Dr Sally Adams added: “Our findings demonstrate that hangover can have serious consequences for the performance of everyday activities such as driving and workplace skills such as concentration and memory.”
“These findings also highlight that there is a need for further research in this field where alcohol hangover has implications at the individual level in terms of health and wellbeing, but also more widely at the national level for safety and the economy.”
The researchers are now developing this work to further examine the true health and economic costs of hangover and associated risks with the next day effects of heavy drinking.
The full study was published in the journal Addiction.
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