by Amanda MacMillan
Weight gain at work
Packing on pounds while climbing the corporate ladder? You’re in good company: in a 2013 Harris Interactive survey of more than 3,000 workers conducted for CareerBuilder, 41% of respondents said they’d gained weight in their current jobs. Workers who spend long hours sitting at a desk (like administrative assistants) and have high stress levels (like engineers and teachers) were more likely to have gained weight.
The truth is, there are lots of reasons your work could be affecting your waistline. “It really has to do with diet, physical activity, and behavior,” says Katherine Tryon, a medical doctor with the Vitality Institute, a global research organization based New York City. Here are some potential factors, and how to steer clear of their consequences.
In addition to time spent at a desk, the average American spends 25.4 minutes commuting to work and then again to get home, according to the US Census Bureau, and the American Community Survey shows that 86% of workers commute by car. Those who take public transportation to and from work tend to have lower BMIs than those who drive or ride in a car, found a 2014 study published in the British Medical Journal, as do those who walk or ride their bikes. “Businesses need to think about ways to turn commuting into a healthy activity, like offering bike racks and showers to their employees,” says Dr. Tryon.
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