Do you know your limits?

Did you know that UK employees take 17 million sick days a year due to alcohol-related illness, costing employers an estimated £1.7bn1?

The NHS recommends:

  • men and women do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol in a week;
  • they should spread these units across several days;
  • you should take some days off alcohol altogether each week;
  • no amount of alcohol is safe to drink; and
  • pregnant women should not drink at all

But how many of us really know what a unit of alcohol is? With so many different drinks and glass sizes on offer, it’s easy to get confused. This handy guide shows you how many units there are in these common drinks and may help you and your employees to keep an eye on how much you drink:


©Alcohol Health Network 2017. Alcohol Health Network provides Consultancy, Line Manager Alcohol Training and Alcohol Health Stalls that raise alcohol awareness in the workplace and improve employee health.

Taking a break from alcohol, even for a bit, can offer big benefits to your wellbeing:

  • You’ll probably find you have more energy
  • You may feel more alert and find that you are able to concentrate better
  • You may even look healthier, feel happier and lose weight
  • You’ll reduce the risk of more serious health problems, such as strokes, heart and liver disease and damage to your nervous system

If you or your employees want to cut back on alcohol, or are even considering “going dry”, then here’s 5 ways to help you cut back:

  • Set yourself a goal such as stopping altogether or only having alcohol at the weekend, decide on a start date and stick to it.
  • Monitor your intake, maybe by keeping a drink diary, to help you work out exactly how much you’re drinking.
  • Understand your triggers that encourage you to drink and look for alternatives.
  • Alternate your alcoholic drinks with soft ones and try to drink more slowly to pace yourself.
  • Look for activities to help you relax and feel good that don’t involve alcohol.

1 Institute of Alcohol Studies Factsheet (2009) Alcohol and the Workplace Source: AXA PPP Healthcare and

  • health and wellbeing
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