Joanna DennisonJuly 11th

A new study suggests that fake smiling could be bad for your health.

The study, carried out by researchers at Penn State and the University of Buffalo, and published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, analysed the drinking habits of people who work in the public. 

It concluded that employees who forced themselves to smile and portray false emotions in front of customers were more likely to engage in heavy drinking after work.


Penn State phycology professor Alicia Grandey told ABC News, “Faking and suppressing emotions with customers is related to drinking beyond the stress of the job or feeling negatively.”

She added: “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. Smiling as part of your job sounds like a really positive thing. But it can be draining.’’

Research linking public-sector workers with heavy drinking habits had been published in the past, but clear factors had not been identified. Today, researchers suggest that it is not merely feeling bad or stressed that lead employees to having one too many drinks, but rather it could be due to all the tension built up of suppressing their true emotions at work, leaving them unable to control themselves when consuming alcohol.

The researchers hope the results of their study will help employers create healthier work environments for their workers.

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