Dry January: Raise your glass for Healthier Employees
Did you start this year with a New Year’s Resolution?
Most often these tend to be around improving general health and wellbeing. As an employer this can be a good opportunity to try to promote and encourage a healthier lifestyle within the work place.
The term Dry January is used as a detox process after over indulgence during the festive season. A Dry January can help create a happier and healthier workforce as well as reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity.
The NHS have recently revised their guidelines on alcohol covering three main issues – guidance on regular drinking, guidance on single drinking sessions and guidance on drinking whilst pregnant.
Advice shows that people should not drink more than 14 units of alcohol per week without seriously health implications. There is also a correlation between heavy drinking sessions and potential accidents such as head tremor and fractured bones.
Alcohol intake can also have an adverse effect on overall health and wellbeing, the mental state of the individual as well as negative effects on oral health.
Results from a recent case study show that drinking habits vary amongst different age groups. For example people over the age of 60 tend to drink alcohol 10 or more times each month, whereas people between the ages of 18 and 30 drink less regularly but are more likely to drink in larger quantities in a single session. On average 40 and 60 year olds consume 12 units per week. Another statistic shows that men drink both more regularly and a greater amount than women.
Within the work place it is estimated that 17 million days per year are lost due to absenteeism and productivity. A company of 200 employees can lose up to £185 per employee per year due to alcohol related nonattendance at work. At present 25% of employees drink over the NHS weekly guideline with a third of employees admitting to being at work hungover and 15% of employees confessing to coming to work still intoxicated from the previous night’s drinking session.
Employees who take part in Dry January will have more energy, will have had more sleep and will be able to focus better on tasks. They will also have more time as they will not be nursing a hangover in the morning. They may also lose weight and have clearer skin whilst generally feeling an overall improvement in their health.
Alcohol concern has provided a calculator that will work out how many units are consumed per drink. It also provides the total cost involved and the calories that have been taken in to the body from the alcohol. https://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/calculator
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