Less of the forced smiles, lads!

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A new study has found fake smiling through your work day may lead employees to drink more heavily.

Researchers at Penn State and the University at Buffalo looked at the drinking habits of those who work with the public regularly. It found that those employees who forced themselves to smile and be happy in front of customers were more at risk for heavier drinking after work.

The study looked at data from a previous survey called the National Survey of Work Stress and Health. That survey conducted phone interviews with 1,592 workers in the US and asked participants how often they faked a smile, how often they drank after work, how much control they felt they had on the job and how impulsive they were.

The results showed that people who fake their positive reactions and resist more natural ones, like the urge to roll your eyes, were so drained from doing so that it could lead to alcohol consumption.

Professor of psychology at Penn State, Alicia Grandey, spoke about the results of the study in a statement to UniLad:

“Faking and suppressing emotions with customers was related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negatively.

It wasn’t just feeling badly that makes them reach for a drink. Instead, the more they have to control negative emotions at work, the less they are able to control their alcohol intake after work.

Smiling as part of your job sounds like a really positive thing, but doing it all day can be draining.

Employers may want to consider allowing employees to have a little more autonomy at work, like they have some kind of choice on the job”.