Workers who come to work hungover may be significantly compromising workplace safety, according to a new UK study.
Researchers from the University of Bath say the effects of a big night out can last longer than people think, and that individuals may still be impaired even after all alcohol has left their bloodstream.
Lead Author Craig Gunn said the researchers found that when compared to sober, hungover workers had poorer attention spans, reduced memory function, and diminished coordination and speed.
“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”.
Senior Author Dr Sally Adams said the findings demonstrated that hangovers 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 suggest workplaces develop clear policies and procedures that cover not only alcohol intoxication, but also the “next-day” effects of heavy drinking.
Access the full study here.
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