While there are many factors that play into weight gain, your job may be one that you have never considered before. Do you spend most of your time at work sitting in front of a computer? Does your job encourage you to make unhealthy food choices? These and other factors are explored in this article about job-related weight issues.
At the beginning of the century, many people had jobs in the industrial and agricultural industries that required a lot of physical activity. In later years, many people began working in offices, but even then there was still a decent amount of activity and travel involved. In recent years, more people than ever before are spending the majority of their workday sitting in front of a computer. Now, coworkers can communicate without even getting up from their desk thanks to email and instant messaging.
It’s no surprise that sedentary workers tend to gain weight. In fact, being deskbound is one of the leading contributing factors to weight gain. One study followed people in different professions and found that secretaries and teachers both took less than 5,000 steps a day even though the recommended daily goal is 10,000 steps. Want to know something really scary? Having a sedentary lifestyle, like sitting at a desk all day, can have adverse effects on your health (see: How Prolonged Sitting Can Affect Your Health).
Inactivity is definitely a major culprit behind work-related weight gain. However, there are several other factors about your job that may lead to a few extra pounds. CareerBuilder.com reports that, in addition to being deskbound, work-related causes of weight gain may include:
The reality of job-related weight issues can be hard to face, especially if you’re not looking to change careers any time soon. Fortunately, there are several things you can do at work that can help combat weight gain. Plus, some of these methods may even boost your productivity. Try these tips in order to maintain a healthy weight despite having a job that makes you mostly immobile:
[For more office workout tips, check out How To Stay Slim At Your Cubicle.]
In addition to starting some healthy habits at work, keep in mind that you’ll have to go the extra mile during your free time if you job has you being inactive for most of your workday. Get a gym membership, take up running or join a sports team. Play with your children outside or take nightly walks with a friend. Get a pedometer and try to hit the 10,000 step goal each day. Doing these things outside of work will help make up for the fact that you aren’t getting much activity in during your workday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following fitness goals for most adults ages 18 to 64:
When it comes to your job making you fat, remember that it’s about more than just your weight. Being inactive at work can also increase your risk of cancer, diabetes and even death. That’s why it’s so important to take the initiative to get healthy and be more active.