Stress driving one in three British men to drink

Jun 08 2006 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Virtually all British men experience stress as a result of their work, with one in three turning to drink in an attempt to switch off, according to a new study.

Stress, the study by vitamin supplement company Wellman found, is causing illness, depression and job dissatisfaction among huge numbers of male workers.

Men in the UK are over-worked and stressed, and more than half have tried to reduce their levels of stress to help them enjoy their quality of life, the survey reported.

Four out of 10 found it difficult to switch off from work and more than one in five claimed they suffered from depression as a result of stress in the work place.

More than a quarter suffered with exhaustion as a result of stress, with 20 per cent admitting to aggressive outbursts and one in 10 suffering a loss of interest in their partner/family life.

One in six had resorted to going to see their doctor about their stress levels.

The most stressed professions were legal services, banking/finance, sports and recreation, medical and education.

Stress expert Professor Cary Cooper of Lancaster University Management School, said of the findings: "Stress in the work place is a serious problem and something needs to be done about it. The fact that one in six men have been to their doctors regarding their stress levels highlights how serious the problem is.

"Work involves increasingly long hours people in the UK have the longest working hours in Europe. Employees are more autocratically managed and as a result are intrinsically more insecure.

"These changing patterns of work seem to be having their negative effect on men's health, particularly those working in professions such as law and finance," he added.

"Employers need to end the long hours culture, begin to manage people by reward and praise and not be constantly faultfinding," Cooper continued.

"They need to provide some degree of job security and ensure that men and women get a good work life balance. If they fail, not only will the health and well being of people be adversely affected but also so will our national productivity," he concluded.

A total of 15 percent of men said they suffered from a lowered sex drive and 5 per cent from sexual impotence as a direct result of work place stress.

Just over one in 10 experienced a pounding heart and palpitations, 35 per cent suffered from sleeping difficulties/insomnia and 42 per cent from neck and shoulder pain.

Just over half felt under pressure to be the main breadwinner in their household and this in turn was contributing to their stress levels.