Is Your Work Making You Fat?

work fat Let's face it, unless your a fitness trainer or a recreation leader, your job is probably not conducive to weight loss. In fact, 43 percent of workers said that they have gained weight in their current jobs and only 18 percent of workers report they've slimmed down. At least that number is slightly greater than the 16 percent who said the same last year.

According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, sedentary jobs that keep employees chained to their desks most of the day are the biggest contributors to workplace weight gain. But there are other factors as well:


  • Sitting at a desk most of the day – 36 percent
  • Stress – 24 percent
  • Eating out regularly – 16 percent
  • Skipping meals because of time constraints – 13 percent
  • Workplace celebrations (potlucks, birthdays, etc.) – 12 percent

Some employers realize that weight gain is not great for employee moral, or for the company bottom line, as obesity increases health care costs. The survey found that more than one-quarter (28 percent) of companies provide gym passes, workout facilities or wellness benefits. Where there are no benefits like these, workers are left to deal with it on their own.

While at my most recent job I...
gained weight1633 (77.1%)
maintained my weight258 (12.2%)
lost weight227 (10.7%)

"While many employees still struggle to lose weight, it's encouraging to see that more workers are embracing healthier habits at the office," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. She adds that "many workplaces are taking a more proactive role in their staff's well-being by implementing programs and benefits that promote wellness."

But you can't leave your weight up to your employer. Haefner recommends the following tips for fending off workplace weight gain on your own:


Take a brisk walk

Even if you only have a few minutes a day to be away from your desk, use that time to get out of the office and take a brisk walk. Also, make sure you use the stairs, rather than the elevator, whenever possible. Walking not only helps you burn calories, it can help you clear your mind to better focus on the tasks ahead.


Plan out your meals each week

Eating out can rack up calories quicker than you can say "I'll have fries with that." Take time each week to plan out the meals you'll be eating at work, making sure to include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains in your menu. Pack a lunch.

Half of workers surveyed say they eat out for lunch at least one day a week, making it difficult to control portions and calorie intake. Snacking can also get you; two-thirds (65 percent) of employees snack at least once a day, including one-quarter of them who snack twice a day.


Stay hydrated

Sometimes a snack craving can be mistaken for dehydration. Be sure to keep water or another healthy beverage at your desk throughout the day so that you can hydrate when you need to. Water can fill you up.


Get a healthy work buddy

Need motivation to get to the gym? Or to avoid the endless celebratory cakes and cookies in the break room? Nearly 1-in-10 workers say that they have joined a weight loss program with co-workers, so buddy up with a friend at the office so that you can help keep each other on track.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Editor

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want.  Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets.  Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.

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debusiness4lou

The article starts with "unless YOUR a fitness trainer" I'm sorry, but the incorrect use of YOUR instead of YOU'RE makes my skin crawl. I see it all day long, but in an Internet article it is simply NOT acceptable, and I can't believe the editor didn't pick it up. All I had to do was see that error in the first line and I was completely turned off to reading any further. That is absolutely outrageous!

May 16 2011 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BGSUMom7

The article was true except for one thing....it's not the JOB that makes people fat, its what they put in their mouth. Gawd forbid someone admit they made themselves fat! If you have a sedentary job, change your diet according. You can't sit at a desk all day and eat like a construction worker!

May 16 2011 at 8:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ssa3403081

If you really want to lose weight..Get a job as an "assistant manager" with Lumber Liquidators..Stress from incompetent management..on the job harassment..and busting your butt loading 50 lb cartons of flooring into vehicles..
Not to mention retail hours and being treated like a moron.

May 16 2011 at 7:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phyllis

I beleive stress can play a huge role in weight gain.Retail such as supermarket work has to be one of the worse culprits.We are not even allowed water.Harassment and a the degradeing treatment contributes to the stress as well.Stress plays a huge role in how and what we eat for most of us.

May 16 2011 at 7:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rick

I have been a personal trainer for about 7 years now. I ve seen every shape and size. Most people train for about 3 months, then stop. Training has to be a lifetime commitment, a state of mind. It has to become a part of you. If any of the forementioned doesnt ring true, you are destined to gain over the long haul.
I have heard every excuse one can come up with for not working out. With a few exceptions, the only reason people dont train on a regular basis is because, its much easier not to.

May 15 2011 at 11:49 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
aphunkyphish

wow, they blamed Mc Donald's and this whole time it wasn't Mickey D's it was work, LOL!

May 15 2011 at 11:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ekglester

The correct grammar...................or lack of it........................

May 15 2011 at 11:11 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
whatthef

if work is making you fat there can only be one answer.... quit. lay on the couch. and eat more doritos..

May 15 2011 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
prassobw

Dear Lisa or her editor (if there is one),

Please fix your grammatical error in the first sentence. [The contraction for 'you are' is 'you're' not 'your'.]
Also missing a comma in the 2nd sentence.

May 15 2011 at 8:10 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
mr wonderful

WOW so many people out there are fat haters.... YES some are overweight because they eat too much - and with that I agree, they need to cut back on calories. HOWEVER, there are those with medical conditions that make on overweight along with medications. Dont group EVERYONE in the same category. STRESS does cause weight gain, and YES sitting in a chair all day not eating will kill your metabolism, thus making you gain weight........ Its said that in AMERICA people have soo much anger towards each other. If we would just help people to understand and educate instead of hate, maybe people in this country would actually live in peace.

May 15 2011 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mr wonderful's comment
BGSUMom7

You're right, there are a number of reasons that a person can be obese. That's why, among other reasons, I am hesistant to judge. But when a co-worker eats junk all day behind her desk, I don't want to hear her complain about her weight. It irritates me to no end when a chubby person asks me "how do you stay so thin" when I eat fruits and veggies at my desk and they eat Snickers, cookies and McD's all day. I don't find it mysterious at all.

May 16 2011 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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