Sitting hunched over at a desk all day. Being tempted by the constant supply of sweets and meeting leftovers. Dealing with stressful workloads and tight deadlines. All of these factors can quickly add up to one thing – more weight.
According to a new survey from CareerBuilder.ca, 41 per cent of Canadian workers admit they’ve gained weight at their current job, with 19 per cent saying they have gained more than 10 pounds in their position.
When workers were asked what they felt contributed to their widening waistlines, sitting at their desk most of the day was the top culprit (53 per cent). Physical and mental exhaustion was also high up on the list, with 37 per cent claiming they’re too tired from work to exercise.
Other answers included:
- 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
Placing a priority on health and wellness
While you may not be able to change your work environment, you can alter your lifestyle to one that focuses on health and wellness. Mark Bania, Managing Director of CareerBuilder Canada, offers the following five tips for leading a healthier work lifestyle:
- Schedule your workout sessions: Just as you would put an important meeting or conference call on your calendar, set aside time on your schedule for exercise. If you’ve already blocked out the time and said no to other commitments, it will make you more likely to prioritise it.
- Get up and move: Find simple ways to add more movement to your daily activities. Instead of parking next to your office, choose a lot a few blocks away. If you take the bus or train, get off a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. When heading up to your office, take the stairs instead of the lift, go for a walk during your lunch break or tread over to someone’s desk instead of sending an email. Little moves like these do add up.
- Avoid the fizz: Those fizzy drinks filling the vending machine may be calling your name, but they’re also packing lots of sugar and empty calories. Drink water flavoured with cucumber, strawberries or lemon instead. If a caffeine boost is what you need, try green tea.
- Bring your lunch: While sometimes it’s nice to take a break and go out to eat at lunchtime, consider bringing most lunches for the week from home. Packing a lunch is an easy – and cost-effective – way to ensure you’re getting healthy ingredients and controlling your portion sizes.
- Snack healthier: Snacking is often associated with eating sugary, high-fat foods, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about choosing the right kinds of snacks. Keep nutritious snacks like almonds, hummus, carrots and air-popped popcorn at your desk so you don’t have to rely on the vending machine or biscuit tin to curb hunger between meals.