Why you may want to drink less than usual when you’re with coworkers

While there are obvious downsides of the commingling of booze and professionalism, studies have suggested alcohol to be an effective bonding tool.

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According to Niznik Behavioral Health, the tech industry houses the most drinking friendly workspaces of any profession. Over 53% of tech jobs provide alcohol at team bonding events with 35% of tech corps endorsing happy hours.

While there are obvious downsides of the commingling of booze and professionalism, studies have suggested alcohol to be an effective bonding tool for employees. In fact, 49% of laborers pooled from various fields said that alcohol better enabled them to form meaningful relationships with their coworkers. It doesn’t just end there either.


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Let’s explore some of the studded benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.

The benefits of light drinking

It should be noted, that all the positive effects of alcohol indexed below are dramatically unhorsed by excess. For instance, it is widely known that ethanol slows down the communication between brain cells-a provisional effect of being over the eight that can become a permanent one when alcohol is abused.

Conversely, The British Medical Journal recently concluded that the completely abstaining from alcohol increases instances of dementia later in life when compared to those who consume moderately (moderate is defined as one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men).  The study, which pooled over 9,000 participants,  suggests a disparity as high as 50%

Moderate alcohol consumption has also been linked to reduced weight gain and even weight loss. A study conducted by researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s hospital claims that “those who drank the equivalent of one to two drinks a day — be it beer, wine, or liquor — were 30% less likely than non-drinkers to become overweight or obese.”

Alcohol has been proven to elevate good HDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, lower blood concentration of fibrinogen and even cut the risks of diabetes.

A study helmed by the University of Pittsburgh claims that moderate alcohol administered in a social setting enhances mood and bonding.

Lead author and professor of psychology, Michael A. Sayette and his team organized 720 males and female. Some were given a non-alcoholic beverage, others received an alcoholic beverage and the rest got placebos.  The participants were instructed to sit around a table and engage with one another for 36 minutes. Their conversations were recorded on video for examination.

The researchers utilized the Face Action Coding System to properly measure social interaction and engagement.

They found light alcohol consumption to increase the amount of time individuals spend talking to each other. Alcohol also increased instances of “true smiles.” Additionally, the groups that were given alcohol managed “golden moments (when all participants smile at the same time unprompted)” with greater frequency.

“By demonstrating the sensitivity of our group formation paradigm for studying the rewarding effects of alcohol, we can begin to ask questions of great interest to alcohol researchers,” says Sayvette.


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.