Study Says Non-Drinkers Take More Time Off Than Drinkers

SourceA new study showed that people with more extreme drinking habits, on either end of the spectrum, are more likely to call in sick to work. While people who said they drank moderately did not have as many sick days.

“Drinking in moderation seems not to be associated with sickness absence,” lead study author Dr. Jenni Ervasti, a specialized researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health told ABC News.

The study, published in the journal Addiction, is based on a wide-ranging survey on drinking across three countries in Europe, as well as employment registries on sick days. …

Those most likely to be absent from work for the most amount of days? The two extremes: abstainers and the higher-volume drinkers referred to as “at-risk.”

Women and men who reported no alcohol use in either survey had a higher risk of “sickness absence” due to mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the digestive system, and diseases of the respiratory system. …

That means abstainers were at higher risk of absence than low-risk drinkers.

Aha! Take THAT, every boss I ever had!

Oh sure, there were all those times when I shuffled into work 15 minutes late acting like something crawled up inside me and died the night before, halfassed by way through the day and gave an unconvincing performance pretending to be someone who gave a shit. But at least I was physically there. Not like all my sober coworkers with their responsible abstinence. I might have been asleep at the switch. But they were AWOL a lot more than I was, what with their mental disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, diseases of the digestive system and respiratory system.

I know the study said it’s moderate drinkers in the middle that are the ones with the good attendance. And that doesn’t include me. Or many people I hang around with. But just because you’re at “higher-volume” doesn’t mean you’re “at-risk.” Because what they failed to take into consideration is another category I’ll call us “heavy hitters.”

We’re the ones who can handle the high volume. Stay out late. Get overserved. Make it home in one piece. And drag ourselves into work the next day. We’re those guys who don’t show up on the injury list, make it into the lineup every game and never complain about the nagging stuff. Those quiet ones who don’t get credit for playing through pain, while the soft ones somehow always get celebrated for their “courage.” They’re the guys who get surgery as soon as the season was over to repair major damage you didn’t even know they had. That was always me. And unlike Miss Mental Disorders with her achy back, diarrhea and asthma, you didn’t hear me bellyaching about my hangover. I just came in a little late and gave you my 50 percent.

So while I’m happy science has finally acknowledged that drinkers are the fuel that drives our corporate engines and keeps them running while the non-drinkers are banging in sick all the time, let’s give credit to the fully-functioning alcoholics. The true heroes. The heavy hitters.