Addressing the Value of Alcohol in Business: Can You Change?

April 10, 2014

Successful Solutions Offered by Executives:

  • Drink sparkling water instead of champagne at events
  • Drink 1-2 glasses of water for every alcoholic beverage
  • Liquor on the rocks “for respect” and very small sips
  • Drink in hand while mingling without ever drinking it
  • Meeting more often at breakfast or lunch instead of dinner
  • Openly discussing steps toward better healthand a longer career at work
  • Developing a work culture that actively supports healthier choices

Workplace Culture and Your Health: As a part of the Hoag Executive Health program, my main role is to provide the best information to help executives achieve health through nutrition and activity. Acting as a coach to set up successful behavioral changes and goal-making when asked, is a natural addition. Through observation, I find workplace culture has a significant impact on the eating and drinking behaviors of employees. Meetings and networking often take place over meals or snacks. Those who travel are more likely to drink alcohol at work events or with clients, especially when being catered by clients in cultures that adhere to heavy drinking as a hospitality standard.

Alcohol’s Impact on Your Health: To abstain from drink or food offered at work many employees worry will be viewed as offensive and act as a stumbling block to business deals or promotions. As research continues to compile how heavy drinking (>1 daily drink for women, >2 daily drinks for men) contributes to insulin resistance, heart disease, dementia, and certain kinds of cancer, an employee’s long-term health may depend on the ability to say no.

Just Thinking About Change: If drinking a moderate level of alcohol is challenging, it’s important to address why. For those who may need to seek professional help, a free online screen is available atwww.alcoholscreening.org as a starting point or screening by a health professional is best. For those who think change is impossible, it’s often because of a fear that a life value will be lost. In this case it helps to talk with someone about how to drink moderately and still keep a career, a group of friends, a status, or a way to relax. It is not always an easy decision as some fears can be true and some are disproved. At Hoag Executive Health we provide a safe and private brainstorming session for these lifestyle choices and continue to support our clientele year-round with the best resources and professional referrals when needed.

By Kyla Bauer, Exercise Physiologist, PN1 Coach

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee's / FreeDigitalPhotos.net