Energy Drinks and High Injury Rates in Young Workers.
Why drink coffee when you can infuse the power of four cans of Coca-Cola into one drink?
By Jonathan Monnette
More than 29 billion gallons of energy drink liquid is consumed by Americans every year despite that it is no secret that energy drinks are not good for your health. However, that hasn’t stopped companies like Red Bull from achieving $7.9 billion in global sales in any given year. With the increase in consumption has come an increase in the number of emergency room visits from consuming energy drinks, a number that has doubled from 10,068 in 2007 to 20,783 in 2011.
And it isn’t only the caffeine-induced irregular heartbeats, trouble breathing and increased level of anxiety that is of concern. It’s possible that these substances are having dangerous effects on younger people at work too.
In the United States, 66% of energy drinks are consumed by people ages 13 – 35, which interestingly is the same group that experiences the highest injury rate at work. Much of these injuries could be attributed to inexperience and higher risk tasks usually given to entry level individuals, however, there may be something to be said about the way this demographic handles fatigue.
Taking a look at the facts, the effects of an energy drink typically last about 4 hours, so if someone were to drink a can at 7:00 am they could expect a caffeine “crash” to begin around 10:00 or 11:00 am. This happens to be the time of day with the highest number of workplace injuries.
Energy drinks cause jittery, nervous behavior and when you’re crashing off the caffeine it can be even more dangerous to work than before you drank it in the first place. A normally easy task like hammering a nail or climbing down a ladder quickly becomes dangerous when you can’t focus and your body is jittery from the artificial energy. Your mind is not working at peak performance and you’re far more likely to slip or overexert yourself in this state.
What is even stranger, unlike normal soft drinks, these drinks are not regulated by FDA. It is wise to avoid them and recommend that your employees do the same. There are plenty of energy boosting alternatives that you can try….
- Orange juice with salted pretzels
- Consume more protein
- Drink water
- Exercise regularly
Another strategy to try is move around more while working. Staying sedentary or doing repetitive activities can cause drowsiness. Breaking up routines can have a positive effect on how you feel. A good place to start would be to set an alarm on your phone to go off every hour to remind you to stand up, stretch and drink a cup of water.
Cutting back on energy drink consumption might be difficult at first but eventually it will not only make you more productive and safer, but it also might save you some money too.
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