A beer after a long day of work; one of the many joys of life. Finally being able to get home, crack a cold one, kick your feet up, turn on the TV and relax — there’s nothing quite like it.
However, most of us are aware of the negative effects of consuming too much alcohol. Aside from hangovers, long term effects of alcohol abuse can increase the chances of liver cirrhosis, certain types of cancers and cause permanent brain damage. While we are told- and rightly so- to avoid drinking in excess, there are some possible benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, especially in a high intensity, high stress industry such as construction. Here are some ways that moderate drinking can potentially be of benefit to those working in the construction industry.
We must define moderate drinking before explaining the findings, as this is paramount in deciphering between healthy alcohol consumption and unhealthy alcohol consumption. According the the CDC, to reduce the risk of alcohol-related harms, the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men or 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed. Another study defines moderate drinking as consuming between 10 and 20 grams of pure alcohol per day, equivalent to roughly 1–2 standard drinks.
The Guidelines also do not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason and that if adults of legal drinking age choose to drink alcoholic beverages, drinking less is better for health than drinking more.
They also do not recommend drinking if you are pregnant, under the legal age for drinking, have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications that should not be mixed with alcohol, or have a history of alcohol abuse or are not able to control the amount of alcohol they consume.
Stress in Construction
As a worker in the construction industry, we’re almost certain that you don’t need to be told that the industry is highly stressful. To back this up, the AXA Stress Index 2018 found that construction is the third most stressful industry in the world, with 82% of surveyed workers feeling stressed at least some of the time on the job.
Another study done by the Chartered Institute of Building found that 578 of 847 (68%) surveyed participants in the construction industry reported feeling stressed while on the job. This is significantly higher than most other industries than most other industries, making construction one of the most stressful industries.
So what does stress do to the body, and how can moderate alcohol consumption help negate some of these effects?
Effects of Stress on the Body
Stress is a leading factor for numerous health related issues, including cardiovascular disease, certain forms of cancer and type 2 diabetes. Aside from diseases, high levels of stress can lead to fluctuations in weight (weight gain or weight loss), can cause excessive muscle tension across the body, headaches and lead to lower levels of energy throughout the day.
A study conducted in 2015 found that amongst other negative effects, stress can increase chances of coronary heart disease by as much as 10–40% compared to stress-free individuals. Even though there haven’t been any studies done proving that reducing stress levels will reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, governments all across the world are launching healthy workplace campaigns, targeted to reduce the levels of stress in the workplace.
Where Beer Comes In
Once again, this focuses on moderate alcohol consumption defined as 10–20 grams of pure alcohol in a day. A study done in 2017 found that, amongst 34,754 participants, those who consumed light (less than 10 grams) to moderate amounts of alcohol actually had a lower chance of mortality caused by coronary heart diseases compared to alcohol abstainers. They believe that light to moderate alcohol consumption might actually lead to a protective effect that can reduce the chance of coronary heart disease.
Hence, a stressful job like construction can increase your chances of contracting coronary heart disease, while light to moderate alcohol consumption can help reduce these chances. Maybe this is why a beer tastes so good after a long day at work — you could actually be helping your body mitigate the effects of stress induced by work.
Where We Come In
You can look at us as more of a preventive measure; we focus on minimizing the things that make you stressed on the job, such as poor communication with clients, missing selections and general disorganized projects. Coupling our software with the occasional beer after work, you’ll be so stress free that you might even live to be 100; come visit our website and learn more.