Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
June 9, 2018

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Worker Illness

Teetotallers more likely to go sick than moderate drinkers

Teetotallers are more likely to take sick leave than workers who drink moderately, according to a new study.

Researchers from the UK Finland and France have worked together on the study, which has been published in the journal Addiction, which they claim highlights the “u-shaped association between alcohol use and sickness absence”.

The study found people who did not drink at all were 58% more likely to take time off for mental illness, with an average of 2.2 days off a year, compared to 1.4 days for moderate drinkers.

It also found teetotallers were 26% more likely to take time off for musculoskeletal disorders, with an average of 4.2 days off a year compared with 3.1 for moderate drinkers.

And people who did not drink were 38% more likely to take time off for digestive disorders, with an average of 0.3 days off a year compared to 0.2 days for moderate drinkers.

But the study also found heavy or persistent drinkers were 32% more likely to take time off for injury or poisoning compared with an average 1.5 days off a year compared to one day a year for moderate drinkers.

“Some diseases, or their treatment, prevent alcohol use, which may explain the excess risks among abstainers,” said lead author Dr Jenni Ervasti.

“Moreover, participants to whom at-risk drinking causes health problems may be selected out from the labour market, that is, if they retire early or become unemployed. Then, the adverse effects are not seen in absence from work due to illness.”

To read the full study, click here.

Louise Hosking and Jimmy Quinn on IOSH Presidency

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, IOSH President, Louise Hosking, and Immediate Past President, Jimmy Quinn, discuss overcoming the challenges of the last 12 months and look ahead to what’s in store for 2022. The conversation points include, equality, diversity and inclusion, mental health and support for veterans and the armed forces.

Click here to listen to this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast.

Louise Hosking IOSH president

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