Some professions require long days, late nights and endless hours of staring at the monitor, windshield or at the situation at hand hoping for inspiration. For many, those types of jobs drove them to drink copious amounts of caffeine daily, largely in the form of coffee. That need drives the long lines at Starbucks in the mornings, the drive-through at McDonald’s or McCafé, and other coffee purveyors. Apparently, however, the type of job affects the amounts consumed, at least according to a survey.
A new survey of over 10,000 professionals looked at which types of jobs lead employees to consume more coffee. They also looked at how much was consumed and by if the quantities differed by sex.
The top 10 professions that consume the most coffee notably contain a lot of vocations that require working odd hours. It is no surprise to those who write for a living that the occupation that consumes the most coffee is journalists and those who work in media. Police officers come next, with teachers coming in third. They are followed by plumbers and other tradespersons, medical staff (picture Grey’s Anatomy interns without coffee!) then executives. The seventh and eighth lines of work that imbibe a lot of java are people in telephone sales, call centers or IT support roles, followed by retail personnel. Rounding out the top 10 are people who drive for a living.
Overall, 85 percent of the survey participants said they drink at least three cups of coffee daily. Additionally, supporting research that shows people are chronically sleep deprived, nearly 70 percent acknowledge that their job performance would be affected if they tried to get by without any coffee or caffeine all day.
The survey also found that men drink more coffee than women. However, the difference was a mere 5 percent.
The survey data was published and publicized by Pressat, a press release distribution service and public relations firm in the United Kingdom. They compiled the data from research done at the University of South Carolina into caffeine consumption via coffee.
Today’s work hours, commutes and hectic lives, not to mention the temptation of passing all those Starbucks restaurants drove many of the survey participants to drink copious amounts of coffee to get through their days. Yet, 62 percent of the survey respondents claimed they were not aware that coffee has health risks.
Another part of the research in coffee consumption carried out by the University of South Carolina determined that people should not drink more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. That equates to two large mugs or four standard cups of coffee.
Caffeine has both negative and positive effects, but the chemical affects different people in different ways. On the positive side it does help with alertness and fighting fatigue. It increased people’s metabolic rate, which can lower the risk of developing diabetes. A stimulant, it also increases the levels of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, like some antidepressants.
On the negative side, the most well-known effect can be problems with sleep for those who consume too much. Caffeine can also increase some people’s blood pressure and produce shaky hands. It can accelerate bone loss in older women. Some people are more sensitive to its properties than others and have to adjust their intake as a result. In addition, some people develop a dependence on coffee to get them through the day that can lead to caffeine withdrawal if they stop consuming it. However, given the survey results, the pace in certain occupations drove respondents to drink a lot of coffee and, unless their job requirements change, their coffee consumption is not likely to either.
By Dyanne Weiss