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Workers Are Gaining Weight On the Job, New Study Shows

As summer approaches, workers hoping to get fit in time for trips to the beach and weekends lounging by the pool may come up against a major obstacle: Their jobs.

A new survey from CareerBuilder.ca shows that the workplace can wreak havoc on one’s waistline. According to the survey, more than 2 in 5 workers (41 per cent) have gained weight at their current jobs, and 19 per cent have gained more than 10 pounds.

When asked what they felt contributed to their expanding waistlines, workers gave the following reasons:

  • Sitting at my desk most of the day – 53 per cent
  • Too tired from work to exercise – 37 per cent
  • No time to exercise before or after work – 34 per cent
  • Eating because of stress – 28 per cent
  • Eating out regularly – 26 per cent
  • Having to skip meals because of time constraints – 19 per cent
  • The temptation of the office biscuit tin – 17 per cent
  • Pressure to eat food co-workers bring in – 9 per cent
  • Happy hours – 5 percent

Weight gain is a common side effect of stress and sleep deprivation, which are common of so many workers today, says Mark Bania, managing director of CareerBuilder Canada. “Work-related stress, lack of sleep and overly packed schedules can often get in the way of healthy eating and exercise habits,” he says. “Poor physical health, however, can also take a toll on mental health and work quality.”

Bania offers the following tips to help even the busiest of workers maintain wellness while on the job:

  • Put It On Your Calendar – Plan ahead and schedule time for exercise the way you would a business meeting or conference call will make you more likely to prioritize it.
  • Get Moving – Add as much movement to your daily activities as possible: For instance, park farther away, or get off the bus or train a stop earlier and walk the remaining distance. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for a walk during your lunch hour and walking over to someone’s desk instead of sending an email. Little things can add up.
  • Stay Away from Soda – Soda packs lots of sugar and empty calories. Drink water flavored with cucumber, strawberries or lemon instead or green tea for a caffeine boost.
  • Brown Bag It – Bringing in lunch from home is an easy (and cost-effective) way to ensure you’re getting healthy ingredients and control your portion sizes.
  • Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand – Keep nutritious snacks like almonds, hummus, string cheese, carrots and air-popped popcorn at your desk or in the break room so you don’t have to rely on the vending machine to curb hunger between meals.

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