Packing on the pounds: 44% of workers gaining weight on the job

Weight gain at work

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 44 percent of workers say they've gained weight at their current job.

Are you guilty of filling (and emptying) the office candy bowl on the regular? Do you push people out of the way to get to the conference room for leftovers before they're gone (or … maybe that's just me)?

When you're sitting at a desk all day and your stress levels are high, who can blame you for craving some chocolate or going for a second (or third, or fourth) lunch?

It's no surprise that this type of environment has caused workers to feel like they're packing on the pounds. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 55 percent of U.S. workers believe they are overweight, and 44 percent say they've gained weight at their current job.

Common culprits
When it comes to what causes the weight to pile on, it may actually be less about what a worker eats and more about how much – or little – they move. Fifty-three percent of workers say that "sitting at the desk most of the day" has contributed to their weight gain, while 45 percent blame it on being "too tired from work to exercise."

Another frequent offender? Stress. Thirty-six percent of workers say that "eating because of stress" is in part responsible for the extra pounds. What's more, workers who have extremely high on-the-job stress are 53 percent more likely to say they're overweight than workers who have extremely low stress.

The effect of bad eating habits
The study found that 78 percent of workers who snack at their desk say they've gained weight on the job. Sixty-three percent who eat takeout or dine out at least once a week for lunch have also complained of workplace weight gain.

Yet, it may just take a little motivation to get moving to help those extra pounds fall off. Forty-nine percent of employees who take advantage of the company gym or wellness benefits have lost weight at their current job, while 54 percent who exercise three or more times per week are winning at weight loss.

The people packing on the most pounds
When it comes to who is gaining weight on the job, not all industries, ages or genders are created equal.

Workers in the transportation (49 percent), health care (48 percent) and financial services (46 percent) industries are the most likely to have gained weight at their current job, followed by sales (46 percent), retail (40 percent), manufacturing (39 percent) and IT (38 percent).

Women (49 percent) are more likely than men (39 percent) to report gaining weight at their present jobs, while workers in the middle of their careers appear more prone to weight gain than younger or mature workers. Forty-seven percent of workers ages 35-54 reported gaining weight at work, compared to 40 percent of workers ages 18-34 and 43 percent of workers 55 and older.

Struggling to keep off the weight at work? Try these healthy eating habits.