Posted: June 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm
Employees want you to know something: Their jobs are making them fat.
That’s the consensus from nearly 4,000 employees polled by CareerBuilder between February and March 2013.
These employees had no difficulty recognizing they were carrying more pounds than they’d like. More than half said they were overweight, and 41% say it’s their job’s fault. Specifically, their chair is to blame. “Sitting at my desk most of the day” is the primary cause of weight gain, followed by stress-related eating, buying lunch instead of brownbagging it, the office candy jar, and workplace celebrations.
CareerBuilder’s survey results correspond to a growing body of research on “sitting disease.” Not only is sitting linked to weight gain, it’s also linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer.
As these employees discovered, hitting the gym isn’t enough to undo the damage, on the scale or elsewhere. Three in five employees report working out on a regular basis, including 45% who hit the gym at least three times a week—mostly after work, but some beforehand. Only a handful exercise during lunchtime.
Employees often skip the noontime workout to avoid the change-sweat-shower routine, or because of the time involved. They may also prefer to keep their workouts private. That doesn’t mean they can’t exercise at lunch or throughout the day. CareerBuilder’s Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources, recommends building in walks to help keep the weight down. Employees can also:
- Initiate walking meetings
- Grab a spot on the waiting list for a treadmill desk
- Take the long route to the bathroom, or add a side stair trip on the way there or back
- Rewire their printer to a printer farther away
- Build a few short walks or other breaks into their day
- Create an activity break group to take scheduled breaks with throughout the day
- Squeeze a 7-minute workout into their day
- Steal creative break ideas from other companies
- Launch a lunchtime dance party
- Use our list of 25 activity breaks
- Follow Hotseat on Twitter and join others taking a #2minbreak
Tell Us: Do you exercise at work? What works for you?