Study: Fake smiling at work may lead to more drinking after hours

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Fake smiling at work may lead to heavier drinking after hours, according to a new study.

Researchers at Penn State and the University at Buffalo studied the drinking habits of people who work with the public.

They found employees who forced themselves to smile and be happy in front of customers were more at risk for heavier drinking after work.

Researchers say faking positive emotions, including resisting the urge to roll one's eyes, can be so draining for some that it can lead to alcohol consumption.

In a statement, Alicia Grandey, professor of psychology at Penn State, said the results suggest that employers may want to reconsider "service with a smile" policies.

"Faking and suppressing emotions with customers was related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negatively," Grandey said. "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."

The study is published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology.

Click here to read a summary of the study.
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