Stress-eating Cheetos at your desk? You're not alone, especially if you're a secretary or elementary school teacher.
According to a survey from Careerbuilder.com, administrative assistants are the workers most likely to report weight gain. Nearly 70 percent of workers at these desk jobs say they have put on weight at their current jobs, followed by 56 percent of engineers. In addition, nurses, teachers, and IT workers are among the most likely to pack on the pounds.
Market research firm Harris Interactive conducted the survey for Careerbuilder, surveying 3,690 full-time workers online. Below, a rundown of the occupations in which respondents were most likely to say they had gained weight at their current jobs.
Workers who reported weight gain overwhelmingly attributed it to being sedentary. Fully 56 percent of workers said that sitting at a desk caused them to put on weight.
"The environment we work in today is causing more people to be "tied" to their desk/work and unfortunately not able to find the time to get up to exercise or even just take a walk," says Michael Erwin, spokesman for Careerbuilder.com, in an email to U.S. News.
The desk-job explanation may account for why IT workers and lawyers gain weight, but plenty of other factors may explain why more active workers, like teachers and nurses, add pounds. Thirty-five percent of workers attributed weight gain to eating more because of stress, followed by eating out regularly, at 26 percent.
A sizable share of workers, 41 percent, claim they have gained weight at their present jobs, and it's often more than just a pound or two. Fully 59 percent of those people say they've gained over 10 pounds, and 30 percent say they've gained over 20 pounds.
A staff of employees putting on some extra weight may not in and of itself be a big deal, but being overweight often leads to health problems. Increasingly overweight workers could therefore go hand in hand with higher employer health care costs. For this reason, many employers have implemented wellness programs to encourage workers to get healthy by exercising, for example, or stopping smoking.
"Employers understand the importance of having a healthy happy workforce and that is why you see more programs being offered that not only promote wellness, but a healthy work/life balance as well," says Erwin.
Still, there's still no conclusive evidence that those programs are effective. Reuters reported last week that a yet-to-be released study from think tank RAND Corporation found that workers on wellness programs lose an average of only around one pound per year, and that their health care costs were only $2.38 less per month in the first year of the program.
Of course, working doesn't necessarily mean extra weight. Sixteen percent of workers surveyed reported weight loss at their current jobs. Unfortunately, Careerbuilder does not have information on what jobs are most conducive to slimming down.
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