One particularly stressful day, I found myself constantly snacking while I worked. The more I shoved in my mouth, the more stressed I became. Even worse, for most of the day, the only time I got up from my desk was to get more snacks.
Not everyone handles stress the same way. But more of us than ever believe our jobs are making us fat. Some people even have the weight gain to prove it. Summer is around the corner and more than half of U.S. workers don’t feel ready to put on their swimsuits because we’re convinced our stressful jobs have caused us to pack on pounds.
In a new CareerBuilder survey, 44 percent of workers said they’ve gained weight in their present job. A least a quarter of people who participated in the study said they’ve gained more than 10 pounds at their current job and 10 percent said they gained more than 20 pounds.
Here is why people believe our jobs are making us fat:
First, we blame the fact that we sit most of the day. Sure, I’d love a job where I move around for a living. But most of us don’t so we blame our sedentary careers for our expanding waistlines.
Next, we blame being too tired from work to exercise. It’s pretty darn easy to fall into this category.
Lastly, we find all kinds of other reasons such as eating because of stress at work (77 percent of workers with extremely high stress levels said they have gained weight because of it). People also blame having no time to exercise because our jobs are demanding or being pressured to eat the food co-workers bring in.
So while we know we are living a lifestyle that isn’t healthy, and we acknowledge that we snack on the job throughout the day, we aren’t all that motivated to do anything about it. The CareerBuilder survey found 41 percent of workers don’t work out regularly.
Lately, I’ve become a walker. I walk in the mornings before it gets hot out. I walk at night after dinner. I walk with kids, friends, my husband. It’s easy and stress free. In a national time use study released today, walking was the exercise people said they did most. Using cardio equipment like a treadmill or stairmaster are popular, too.
Apparently, consistency is key: 22 percent of U.S. workers who regularly work out four or more days a week said they lost weight at their present job, compared to people who work out a few days a week or none at all.
But exercise isn’t the only way to lose weight. About a quarter of U.S. workers said they eat out at least three times a week or buy food from the vending machine. So, another way to be healthier is plan ahead and bring healthy meals and snacks to work.
If you believe you’re job is making you fat, you don’t have to wait until you are miserable to make a change. Summer is coming up on us quickly, so make the changes now that make you feel better at work and home.