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Health workers top list of coffee addicts

Nurses and doctors are the professionals who say they most need coffee to make it through the workday.

By Teresa Mears Sep 27, 2010 12:44PM

Who REALLY needs coffee in the morning?

According to a survey by Dunkin' Donuts, 32% of workers need coffee to get through the workday, and 43% of workers say they are less productive if they don't drink coffee.


While Dunkin' Donuts may have a vested interest in promoting coffee consumption, the company actually joined with CareerBuilder to commission a scientific survey of more than 3,600 workers nationwide to see which professionals need coffee the most.


We expected personal-finance bloggers to rank near the top of professionals who need coffee RIGHT NOW, but self-employed coffee drinkers weren't part of the survey.


The group with the highest percentage of workers saying they are less productive without coffee was nurses. Doctors ranked second. Clearly they are leaning toward the scientific studies that say coffee is good for you.


Here's the ranking, starting with the professions with the highest percentage of workers saying they need coffee for productivity:

  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Hotel workers
  • Designers/architects 
  • Financial/insurance sales representatives
  • Food preparers
  • Engineers
  • Teachers
  • Marketing/public relations professionals
  • Scientists
  • Machine operators
  • Government workers

There were some regional differences. Workers in the Northeast reported the most dependence on coffee for productivity (48%), followed by workers in the South (45%), West (44%) and Midwest (34%). Younger workers, ages 18 to 24, reported the most dependence on coffee. Maybe they are just staying out later.

The survey was released in advance of National Coffee Day, which is Sept. 29. So far, no one is offering free coffee, but we'll keep our eyes open for deals. In fact, Starbucks and others are raising coffee prices in response to higher wholesale costs.


In honor of National Coffee Day, Don Effenberger of the MinnPost put together all kinds of coffee trivia, complete with a link to a video of an atmospheric coffee scene from "Twin Peaks." We especially like his links to songs that mention coffee.


Lore has it that coffee originated in Ethiopia, after a goatherd noticed that, after eating berries from a certain tree, the goats wanted to stay up all night.


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