Over 50% of U.S. workers think they are overweight
Workers are gaining weight on the job. Get tips on how to combat workplace weight gain and stay healthy.
Spring is here, summer is right around the corner and many workers may be worrying about fitting into that swimsuit. Summer bodies are made in the winter, but when 56 percent of the nation's workforce believe they are overweight and 45 percent believe they've gained weight (according to a new CareerBuilder survey), this potentially poses a problem. According to the survey, 25 percent of all workers say they've gained more than 10 pounds at their current job; 1 in 10 gained more than 20 pounds.
The factors growing people's waistlines in the workplace
When asked what they think contributes to weight gain at work, employees who have packed on the pounds blame it on a few key factors, including:
- Sitting at a desk most of the day (51 percent)
- Too tired from work to exercise (45 percent)
- Eating because of stress (38 percent)
- No time to exercise before or after work (38 percent)
- Eating out regularly (24 percent)
- Having to skip meals because of time constraints (19 percent)
- Workplace celebrations (18 percent)
- The temptation of the office candy jar (16 percent)
- Pressure to eat food co-workers bring in (8 percent)
- Happy hours (4 percent)
Certain locations, occupations pack on more pounds
CareerBuilder research ranked major U.S. cities with the highest percentage of workers who say they have gained weight at their present job, and the results are all ranking above 40 percent.
- Houston (57 percent)
- Washington D.C. (50 percent)
- Dallas (47 percent)
- Boston (47 percent)
- Los Angeles (47 percent)
- Atlanta (44 percent)
- Miami (42 percent)
- New York (42 percent)
- Chicago (42 percent)
- Philadelphia (41 percent)
The financial services industry comes in at 57 percent of workers who feel they have gained weight at their job, followed by health care (50 percent), transportation (50 percent), sales (50 percent), IT (44 percent), manufacturing (43 percent), leisure and hospitality (42 percent) and retail (37 percent).
Despite weight worries, health benefits are going to waste
While 28 percent of employees say their company offers certain wellness benefits and reimbursements, many aren't utilizing these tools to keep them fit for work and life in general: 63 percent of this group are not taking advantage of these added benefits. Sixty-four percent of employees surveyed say their employers do not offer wellness benefits, but if offered, 42 percent believe they would take advantage of them.
Here's how to take matters into your own hands with or without the help of your J-O-B:
- Grind it out at the gym at least four days a week. Twenty-two percent of U.S. workers who regularly work out four or more days a week say they lost weight at their present job, compared to 16 percent of those who regularly work out three or fewer days a week. Forty-one percent of workers don't work out regularly or at all, and 47 percent of this group say they gained weight at their current job. Consistency is key!
- Resist the urge to eat lunch out every day. A quarter of U.S. workers eat out at least three times per week instead of packing their lunch, which can be harsh on not only your wallet, but also your waistline. When you pack your lunch, you can control your calorie intake and portion size, as well choose options without as many added preservatives and other sneaky, unwanted add-ins found in many convenient foods.
- Snack at your own risk, but snack responsibly. Seventy-three percent of workers snack on the job and 12 percent grab their afternoon pick me up from the vending machine at least once a week. When you are bored or stress eating at your desk, those snacks can add up. Make sure to pack healthy snacks that will fill you up and keep your cravings at bay without overindulging. Fitness apps like MyFitnessPal can help you gauge the calories, carbs, fat and protein you eat each day.
- Bust a move! OK, maybe you won't be dancing around the office on a Monday afternoon, but make sure to get up from your desk. Humans aren't made to sit for 8-10 hours at a time. Stand up, stretch, take a walk or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Many companies offer options for ergonomic chairs or stand-up desks with the appropriate doctor's note.
- Use those perks! If your company offers wellness benefits, make sure to utilize them. This could be a reimbursement each year or access to the company gym. Whatever the case may be, every little bit helps.
Check out other ways to eat right at work with these healthy ways to boost energy and productivity.