Managers are heavier drinkers than manual workers

bottle of wine and glasses
Image caption Heavy drinkers are found more often in managerial households

People in managerial jobs drink more than their counterparts in manual jobs, official statistics show.

The annual Lifestyle Survey, published by the Office for National Statistics reflects the habits of UK adults in 2009.

Average weekly alcohol consumption for managers was 13.5 units, compared with 10.7 units in those in manual jobs.

The survey also showed that the number of alcohol-related deaths has fallen slightly.

The current recommendations for daily alcohol intake are that it should not regularly exceed three to four units for men and two to three units for women.

However, the survey reveals that amongst managers, 41% of men and 35% of women exceeded these recommendations, on at least one day in the week before they took part in the survey.

When people were asked about heavy drinking - defined as more than eight units for men and more than six for women - 23% of men and 15% of women in managerial households had reached those levels of drinking on at least one day in the week before the survey.

Amongst manual workers, the figures were 19% of men and 11% of women.

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of the charity Drinkaware said heavy drinking among professionals was a cultural problem:

"While there continues to be a strong culture of drinking as part of professional roles it's not surprising to see managers drinking more than manual workers. Meetings and get-togethers are all situations where professionals may feel under pressure to drink. We also know many de-stress with a drink at home after a long working day."

Economic effect

The number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK has increased since the early 1990s, rising from 4,023 in 1992 to the 9,031 in 2008.

However in 2009 the number of deaths fell slightly to 8,664.

Overall though, the number of deaths is still up 26% on a decade ago

The drop in alcohol-related deaths was welcomed by the charity Drinkaware.

However, its chief executive, Chris Sorek said it was important not be complacent: "It's really encouraging to see a drop in alcohol-related deaths but the fact that thousands of people are still dying from alcohol misuse shows we must not rest on our laurels."

Don Shenker, of Alcohol Concern said that the economic situation was part of the explanation.

"The slight fall in 2009 in alcohol related deaths mirrors a slight drop in alcohol consumption, and while this is positive, is wholly due to a drop in consumer spending as a result of the recession.

"It is very likely that alcohol consumption will rise again once the economy picks up."

Smoking, was found to be almost twice as common in manual households with 29% of adults smoking cigarettes, compared with 15% of adults in managerial and professional households.

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