The New Year has arrived and with it, resolutions to cut down on alcohol. Perhaps it’s the recent memory of horrendous hangovers from the festive season, or just a wish to lead a healthier lifestyle and save some money, which is making so many people go “dry” in January.
Dry January* is a well-known annual campaign, led by Alcohol Concern and supported by many other charities, which focuses on reducing harms associated with alcohol. The campaign’s popularity is no surprise, given the many benefits associated with reducing and cutting out alcohol intake. These include weight loss, improved sleep and lowering the risk of developing liver disease. Gram for gram, alcohol contains almost the same amount of calories as pure fat.
Though Dry January only lasts for a month, it can be helpful in introducing people to a lower-alcohol or alcohol-free lifestyle and many choose to continue new habits beyond the challenge. There is a raft of free resources available that employers can share with their staff to support them through January and beyond, including the “Dry January & Beyond” app and Public Health England’s “How Are You?” quiz, which analyses information on lifestyle and suggests help to make healthier choices.
Employers can also help by suggesting alternative social activities to going to the pub, such as group walks. If the local is a must, mindful drinking movement Club Soda has developed a map of licensed premises that have an excellent range of low- and no-alcohol drinks – many of which offer special deals to ‘mindful’ drinkers. Several “Mindful Pub Crawl” routes can also be found on the Club Soda website.
For those businesses based within the Square Mile, WDP’s Square Mile Health offers free workshops and other services for employees relating to alcohol, on behalf of the City of London Corporation.
* It should be noted that Dry January is not a medical detox programme and is not recommended for those with alcohol dependencies.
About the Author:
Xenia Koumi is project officer at Business Healthy, a community & online resource for businesses committed to improving the health & wellbeing of their workforce. You can join Business Healthy for free and members can gain access to exclusive content such as case studies and blogs, such as the one you have read above, as well as member only events and expert led workshops on workplace health and wellbeing issues.
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