More and more people in the UK are turning to smoking and alcohol to overcome stress connected with IT-related problems like computers crashing, mobiles and automated call centers, according to a recent study. The study was conducted by the Britain's charity Developing Patient Partnerships (DPP).
The DPP conducted a poll of 1,000 people last year. One third of them said IT-related problems were a major source of stress and 27% of the men and 23% of the women said they would light up a cigarette in such situations, it reported.
And, while the DPP said it was important to talk about stress to help reduce the stigma that surrounded it, only 23% of the respondents said they would speak to their manager, while another 25% said they would be so worried about what their boss would think, and that they would not take time off work because of stress.
The survey also asked people what they thought stress was. Over two-thirds thought stress was simply having a 'bad day', 63% said it was dealing with difficult people and 58% saw stress as having too much to do, and 64% wrongly believed that stress was an illness.
Although stress can lead to illness such as depression, it is not an illness in itself. The DPP is issuing guidance to help people deal better with stress. DPP spokeswoman Rosemary Anderson said: 'Considering that most people, 79%, believe they have been stressed in the last year, it is worrying that they are seeking solace in alcohol and cigarettes when there are many positive things that people can do to help themselves cope and feel better in the long term.
The survey claimed that more than a quarter of adults, 8.2 million people in Britain, suffer from a drink-related disorder. It said 22,000 people die as a direct result of alcohol, mainly from liver disease, but also because of accidents, fights and other drink fuelled incidents, with 150,000 people admitted to hospital each year because of drinking alcohol.