Is your job making you fat?


This may not feel like a time of plenty. But many U.S. workers' waistlines are expanding through the weak economy, according to a survey by

The poll found that 44% of workers said they had gained weight in their current jobs, with many saying stress was a contributing factor. In 2009, 43% of workers reported putting on pounds. Twenty-eight percent of employees said they had gained more than 10 pounds, and 12% said it was more than 20 pounds.

The survey, conducted online between Feb. 10 and March 2, polled roughly 4,800 Americans who were at least 18 years old and employed full time at a non-government job.

"Especially in this economy, it is easier to pick up unhealthy eating habits in the office as workers spend more time on heavier workloads and less time on themselves," Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, said in a statement.

Many of the reasons for weight gain cited by the survey participants were perennial culprits: workplace celebrations such as birthday parties and eating out regularly, for example. Half of the workers surveyed said they ate lunch out at least five days a week, and one-quarter of employees said they snacked at least twice a day. Only 9% of the respondents said they used their lunch hour to exercise.

And 49% of respondents said they had gained weight simply by sitting at their desks for most of the day.

Women were more susceptible to weight gain, with 50% saying they had gained weight, versus 39% of men.

CareerBuilder recommended that employees bring a healthful lunch from home, set an eating schedule for the day to avoid snacking, and find someone in the office to work out with. CareerBuilder also had a suggestion for weight loss that may strike many people as revolutionary: "Walk over to co-workers instead of calling or e-mailing them."

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