CHICAGO, June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Workplace treats have your pants feeling a little tighter than usual? A new CareerBuilder survey found two-in-five workers (44 percent) said they have gained weight at their current job, on par with previous studies. Twenty-six percent of workers gained over 10 pounds, and 14 percent gained over 20 pounds. On the other hand, 16 percent said they lost weight. The study, conducted by Harris Interactive© from February 9 to March 2, 2012, included more than 5,700 workers across industries.
There were certain occupations that had a higher incidence of workers reporting weight gain, often tied to more sedentary or high stress positions. Among those most likely to report gaining weight include:
- Travel Agent
- Social Worker
- Administrative Assistant
- Protective Services (Police, Firefighter)
- Marketing/Public Relations Professional
- Information Technology Professional
Causes for Weight Gain
More than half of workers (54 percent) attributed their weight gain to sitting at their desk most of the day, and roughly the same amount (56 percent) stated they eat their lunch there as well. Other culprits causing extra inches around the waist line include:
- Eating because of stress – 37 percent
- Eating out regularly – 23 percent
- Having to skip meals because of time constraints – 19 percent
- Workplace celebrations (potlucks, birthdays) – 18 percent
- The temptation of the office candy jar – 16 percent
- Pressure to eat food co-workers bring in – 10 percent
Lunch and Snack Habits
When asked how often they eat out at work for lunch instead of bringing their meal from home, 53 percent of workers said they do so at least once a week, 23 percent at least three times a week and 11 percent at least five times a week.
Ten percent of workers indicated they eat lunch out of the vending machine at least once a week, and 71 percent said they snack during the workday.
When it comes to exercise routines, 59 percent of workers said they exercise regularly. Ten percent said they don't exercise at all.
"More and more companies are implementing healthy living initiatives in the workplace," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. "Twenty-eight percent of companies provide gym passes, workout facilities or wellness benefits for their employees, but only 10 percent of workers say they take advantage of the benefit. It's important to tap into those resources to stay healthy and energized and potentially more productive."
Tips for Staying Fit
In addition to maintaining a regular workout routine throughout the workweek, Haefner recommends the following tips to help push away the extra pounds this summer:
- Take more steps throughout the day - Take the stairs instead of the elevator or stop by a coworker's desk instead of sending an email. Get off at an earlier train stop or bus stop, so you can walk part of the way to the office.
- Snack healthy - Snacking can seem innocent when done in small bits and pieces, but the extra calories will start to add up quickly. Keep plenty of veggies and fruits in the office fridge so you have a healthier choice on hand.
- Pack your lunch - Bringing your lunch to work helps you better control your portions and also saves you money.
- Choose water - Drink water throughout the day instead of caffeinated drinks or juices. This helps make you feel fuller faster, and cuts down on the calories.
- Sneak in some exercise – Take daily walks with a coworker, replace your chair with an exercise ball for part of the day, and keep free weights at your desk – all quick and easy solutions to help stay fit and trim.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 5,772 U.S. workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) ages 18 and over between February 9 and March 2, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 5,772, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.29 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 45 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.