Is Your Job Making You Gain Weight? This Survey Says You’re Not Alone

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If your work clothes are feeling a little tighter lately, you aren’t alone.

Forty-five percent of U.S. workers say they’ve gained weight at their current job, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

What’s more, 25% say they’ve gained over 10 pounds at their present job and 10% believe they’ve gained more than 20 pounds.

Workers say a lot of factors contribute to their weight gain, including:

  • Sitting at a desk most of the day (51%)
  • Work wears them out too much to bother with exercise (45%)
  • Eating because they’re stressed (38%)
  • No time to exercise (38%)
  • Eating out regularly (24%)

I’m right there with you, fellow workers: I spend a lot of working hours parked in a desk chair, and some days the only exercise I get is waving at my gym as I drive past it (which totally counts as arm day).

Several survey respondents also said workplace celebrations, happy hours and the temptation of office snacks contribute to extra poundage.  

Yep, I can relate to that too. The fridges at The Penny Hoarder HQ are stocked with healthy treats, but we also bring in our fair share of donuts and cookies.

Then there’s all the food we use on to make all our cool videos. I mean, we can’t let that go to waste either, can we?

Long story short, we eat a lot around here.

Battle That Bulge

It comes as no surprise the near-universal advice from the medical community is that consistent activity is a fundamental key to controlling weight.

Even though we know that’s the solution, CareerBuilder’s researchers say, “41% of workers don’t work out regularly or at all, and 47% of this group say they gained weight at their current job.”

Some companies are willing to help employees stay healthy — 28% say their employer provides gym facilities or other wellness benefits. Unfortunately, 63% of workers who have those benefits don’t use them.

If you can’t or don’t exercise on a regular basis, there are a few other things you can do to reduce stress and fight the battle of the bulge.

If you can’t resist the urge to grab a nosh at work, getting a handle on stress and finding better work-life balance could help keep your waistline under control.

I suppose if there’s any silver lining in this new CareerBuilders report, it’s that many of the results are basically the same as last year. We may not be getting better at avoiding weight gain at work, but at least we aren’t getting worse.  

Lisa McGreevy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s always on the lookout for hot tips on work-life balance because she struggles with it every day. Look her up on Twitter @lisah if you’ve got some to share.