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Workers blame sedentary jobs for packed-on pounds, survey finds

Photo: jessicaphoto/iStockphoto

Chicago – Long periods of sitting, stress-related eating and workplace weariness are among the factors workers say have contributed to their personal weight gain, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of job-search website CareerBuilder.

A sample of 3,420 full-time workers from various industries and company sizes were surveyed about what they believe contributes to weight gain at work. Forty-five percent of participants reported having gained weight in their current job. Of those, 51 percent cited “sitting at a desk most of the day” as a contributing factor, 45 percent identified being “too tired from work to exercise” as a cause and 38 percent believe stress-related eating played a role. Other findings:

  • 73 percent of respondents said they snack on office food during the workday.
  • 41 percent do not work out regularly.
  • 38 percent reported they do not have enough time to work out before or after work.
  • 24 percent eat out for lunch at least three times per week.
  • 19 percent skip meals because of time constraints.
  • 18 percent blame workplace celebrations.
  • 12 percent visit office vending machines at least once a week.

Of the 28 percent of respondents who said their employers provide gym passes, workout facilities or wellness benefits, 63 percent do not take advantage. However, 42 percent of the respondents whose employers do not offer wellness benefits believe they would use such benefits if provided.

“Employee health is an incredibly important issue for employers, as suboptimal health can negatively impact workplace productivity, efficiency and morale,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, said in a May 18 press release. “Providing employees the tools they need to get and stay healthy, then encouraging their workers to use these benefits, is a surefire way to maximize your talent and encourage employee loyalty.”

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