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29 Percent of UK Workers Blame Weight Gain on Work

Topics: Data & Research

In the U.S. today, the most common New Year’s resolution is to eat better and exercise more. Could our jobs be partially to blame for the popularity of these goals?

According to a study from CV-Library, a U.K.-based job board, there could be a link between diet, exercise and work-life balance.

The study was based on a survey of 1,200 employees from the U.K. Nearly one-third of respondents, 29.1 percent, said that they believed their job caused them to gain weight.

“Living a healthy lifestyle can sometimes feel like a job in itself, so it’s unsurprising to see that work has an impact on the eating and exercise habits of many of the nation’s professionals,” Lee Biggins, CV-Library’s managing director, tells The Independent.

How Work Contributes to Weight Gain

Respondents who indicated that work was partially to blame for their weight gain were asked to explain further. Over 50 percent said that sitting all day at their desk was the most significant factor.

Other popular reasons included not having time to exercise (40.8 percent) and snacking at work (40.3 percent). Workers also blamed overeating due to stress and coworkers bringing in unhealthy snacks to share with the office.

These issues affect many American workers, too. Many workers have a hard time fitting exercise into their schedule. And, the link between overeating and stress has been scientifically proven. Unfortunately, about one-fourth of Americans rate their stress as a level 8 or higher on a 10-point scale.

It’s Making Workers Unhappy

We know that gaining weight can take a real toll on the physical body. And, according to this study, it can make workers pretty unhappy, too. Among those who said work had caused them to gain weight, 75.7 percent, the vast majority, said that they felt unhappy as a result.

Workers and employers can use these results to become more aware of how the office environment influences health. Employers might choose to incorporate perks that encourage workers to make healthy decisions.

“Walk or cycle to work schemes are always a great way to help staff fit in exercise around their working day,” Biggins tells The Independent. “What’s more, inexpensive perks like healthy snacks and team lunches, or discounted gym membership are positive ways to encourage your staff to look after themselves.”

Workers can also take matters into their own hands. These results tell us that prioritizing work-life balance in the new year could help with other problems like stress and weight, for example. Committing to reducing work-related stress in 2018 could be a very helpful resolution.

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