New research from health promotion foundation VicHealth shows most Victorians think boozy office Christmas functions are a relic of the past.
The 2017 survey of more than 2000 Victorians found that more than two thirds (66%) said it was unacceptable to get drunk at a work Christmas party, with almost half stating it was totally unacceptable. Additionally less than 20 per cent of Victorians thought it was acceptable to drink with the intention of getting drunk.
VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said in the lead up to the festive season it was important to drink in moderation to avoid damaging your health and your reputation around the office.
“This research shows that most Victorians want to avoid getting drunk at work Christmas parties which is good news for people’s health and wellbeing,” Ms Rechter said.
“Getting boozed at your office party could leave you with more than a big hangover. The more we drink the more likely we are to get injured or do something we might regret.
“No one sets out to be harmed by alcohol, and no one wants to be harmed by someone that’s been drinking.
“This festive season, we encourage people to have a good time and celebrate with their colleagues, but keep in mind that most people in your office may not think it’s acceptable to get drunk.”
Ms Rechter said the survey results were part of a greater shift in the drinking culture in Victoria, with increasing numbers of people starting to re-think the role of alcohol in their lives.
“There’s been a shift in the way people think about drinking and getting drunk. Young people in particular are drinking less than older generations were ten years ago and are more likely to support tougher alcohol policies than previous generations,” she said.
“This research challenges the myth that drinking alcohol and parties go hand-in-hand. You don’t need to get drunk to have a good Christmas.”
Ms Rechter said despite the positive trend, the holiday season traditionally led to a spike in assaults and visits to the emergency room.
“Research shows that over the festive season harms from alcohol skyrocket, with increased incidences of ambulance callouts, police-recorded assaults and hospital admissions due to alcohol intoxication,” she said.
“There are simple things we can do to be merry and safe at festive functions. Try to choose drinks with lower alcohol content and alternate alcoholic drinks with water.”
Top tips to avoid a festive hangover
- Set a limit: It’s easy to lose track of how many drinks you’ve had so try to limit yourself to less than four alcoholic drinks at your work party
- Make the switch: Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or juice
- Mix it up: Hosting a party? Why not mix up a batch of delicious mocktails? Try lime juice, strawberry, pineapple, soda water and mint for an alcohol-free drink that’s far from boring
- Eating’s not cheating: If you are going to drink make sure you don’t neglect to eat. Too many drinks on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster so make sure you have a decent lunch
- It’s not a race: Remember to pace yourself when you’re drinking to avoid going too hard too fast
- Hit the d-floor: It’s hard to dance with a drink in your hand (without spilling it all over yourself and your colleagues) so get moving and forget about the booze
- Booze-free fun: Looking for work party ideas that don’t involve drinking? Why not do something active like play lawn bowls, plan an Amazing Race style challenge for your team or head to the zoo?
- Get home safe: If you drink, it's simple – don’t drive. Try to look out for your colleagues too so everyone gets home safely
Rachel Murphy, VicHealth Senior Media Advisor on 03 9667 1319, 0435 761 732 or firstname.lastname@example.org