When you hear that your job can literally make you fat, it’s not a lie. According to a 2013 Harris Poll survey, just over 40% of respondents say they have packed on pounds. While it’s not necessarily the job itself causing you to gain weight, it’s more about lack of activity and behavior.
Workers who most often pack on pounds are those who either sit at desks all day or have very stressful jobs. Studies show that there is a strong link between sitting all day and obesity. Even workers who are weight conscious can put on a few pounds working a sedentary job.
How you get to work can also play a role in gaining weight. In a 2014 British Medical Journal report, commuters who walk or ride their bikes to work have lower BMIs than those who take public transportation. Dr. Katherine Tryon with Vitality Institute says employers should take more initiative when it comes to the health of their employees.
“Offering bike racks and showers could go a long way in workers getting healthy,” says Tryon.
Is your job stressful? Fat hormones can trigger cravings for unhealthy foods. And if you aren’t careful, those unhealthy foods can quickly have your waistline expanding.
Many people don’t know that lack of sleep can also play a role in your weight gain. If you find yourself up all night trying to get that presentation done, you will find yourself eating when you should be sleeping. It’s not uncommon for those working into the odd hours to snack and order unhealthy meals. When you finally get to sleep, guess where all that grease and oil is going to stick?
Sometimes it can simply come down to food options. Are you the type that simply cannot resist the vending machine or the food truck? According to the same 2014 British study, people who tend to gorge on candy, chips, and other foods are twice as likely as those who brown bag it to be obese.
Try to avoid other things like happy hour events, following the unhealthy lifestyle of co-workers, distracted eating, overnight shifts, and those dreaded office parties. If you can’t do it cold turkey, slowly back away until you don’t do it at all.
Some companies are promoting a more healthy employee lifestyle by offering gym memberships and wellness programs. But you have to do what you can to take control of your situation. If your job is making you fat, initiate some changes now. If your commute isn’t far, try walking, bring a healthy lunch to work, try walking up a flight of stairs. Small changes like this can make all the difference.