Is your job making you fat?

Is your job making you fat?

The sedentary and stressful lifestyle that comes with longer workdays and non-stop connectivity is making workers fat, a new survey has found. More than two in five people, or 41pc, have gained weight in their current job, while almost a fifth of workers admitted to gaining more than 10 pounds, according to a poll of 1,003 British employees by the jobs website Career Builder.

However, 13pc of respondents said they had lost weight in their current place of work.

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Too many hours spent sitting at a desk was the most-cited reason for work-related weight gain, with 58pc of respondents saying they spend most of their day on their derriere. Exhaustion is a big factor, with 38pc of workers saying they are too tired after work to exercise, Career Builder found, while others are too busy to focus on their health: a third of people said there weren’t enough hours in the day to exercise before or after work and 18pc of respondents admitted to skipping meals due to time constraints.

This echoes a report published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2012, which found that people with longer commutes had wider waistlines, higher blood pressure and lower cardiovascular fitness.

“Work-related stress, lack of sleep and overly packed schedules can often get in the way of healthy eating and exercise habits,” Scott Helmes, managing director of CareerBuilder UK, said. “Poor physical health, however, can also take a toll on mental health and work quality, so it’s important for workers to stay active, even if it just means taking small breaks throughout the day to walk around or stretch.”

Research has suggested that obese people are less productive in the workplace and take more days off work.

The European Court of Justice recently ruled, in a judgment that is binding on British employers, that "obesity can constitute a disability" in the workplace.

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Although seven in 10 workers claimed to exercise on a regular basis, they could be overly partial to a mid-afternoon sugar binge. A third of respondents fall into stress-eating habits, 28pc find the office biscuit tin too tempting, and 15pc eat because their colleagues bring snacks into the office.

It’s not all long work days and stress, though. Some 6pc of workers blame happy hours for their expanding waistlines, 13pc put those extra inches down to eating out regularly – although this could be linked to not having enough time or energy to prepare healthier meals at home – while 16pc said they’ve put on weight because of workplace celebrations.

A recent American study found that drinking wine can help burn fat... so maybe these workers just need to arrange a few more happy hours.

By Lauren Davidson,

The Telegraph Friday 15 May 2015

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