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Could New Workplace Trends Trim Job-Related Weight Gain?

There's a likely connection between obesity and the decline in savings, and I have a little theory that the rise in obesity has a lot to do with how much time we put in at the office, too. Working long hours is necessary for many Americans and others view their hard working overtime as a badge of honor. Whatever the motivation for banking hours of desk time, there's no question that sitting in a stressed out state for most of our days isn't the best thing we can do for our health.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 50 percent of women and 42 percent of men say they've gained weight since starting their current job. It makes sense that the longer hours US workers are clocking, the heavier we'll be as a country — the inactivity, the snacking, eating out, and stress add up a pretty unhealthy picture. Could new workplace trends begin to trim our waistlines? See what I'm talking about when you


Job placement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. predicts that a four-day work week will become the norm and business traveling will be scaled back significantly in favor of teleconferencing. Should these predictions come true the changes could start chipping away at work-related weight-gain. One less day in the office could give us one more day to be active and focus on personal health, while less business travel could mean less eating on the go and more regular sleep schedules.

Do you think these possible trends could help trim job-related weight gain? Have you noticed any change in your health since starting your job?


Join The Conversation
carlabunnie carlabunnie 8 years
I think it would definitly help encourage better habits. I find it much easier to eat healthier while i am not at work. And working 4 days a week would give me more time to exercise and plan meals.
lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
Four day work week...YEAH!! Most people pacify themselves w/ food, snacks, or some treat during their workday to get through it.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 8 years
I've definitely gained weight since I started working at my present job. We're all women here and, unfortunately for my waist line, there's a lot of great cooks which means lots of potlucks. Also, we sort of unconsciously encourage each other to eat lots of chocolate, candy, etc. I don't know if a longer weekend will necessarily help establish better weight habits, but I'm definitely all for a 4 day work week!
tee0206 tee0206 8 years
Four-day work weeks?! Seriously? I don't think that's good for me due to the fact that I tend to spend a LOT more money on weekends. Due to the nature of my job, it makes more sense to spread things out to five days a week. I have to drive around town on site visits every single day, but fortunately, my gas is paid. When given the opportunity, I jumped at the chance of taking a job that didn't require sitting at a desk eight hours a day. Also, technically, I could work from home half the day before my site visits. I think being on-the-go definitely helps with keeping my weight down, though. I was always so tempted to eat vending machine junk food when I worked in an office all day.
sundrops sundrops 8 years
Ha. We Would have to change our over-achieving mentality as a society to go to a four-day work week, otherwise we would come up with something to keep us just as busy the other three days.
Ryot Ryot 8 years
As someone who has worked primarily out of my home office for the last five years, and 2 to 3 days a week telecommuting in the last six months, I really can't see how this mythical "four day" work week will help anything. We're all still going to be working 40 hours a week at least, probably more hours than we are now. In my experience it's a lot more difficult to maintain a regular exercise schedule when you're working from home, and it's easier to eat bad food. You have to be very regimented to be healthy while working from home, in my experince. Set up a no-excuses exercise time either before or after work hours -- lunch is typically not an option. Don't keep any snacks or goodies in the house that you would feel about about chowing down on. If it's in the kitchen, eventually your willpower will break down and you will eat it. Keep healthy snacks like fresh fruit on hand. Take a lunch break, and time it, don't overindulge or underindulge. The fifth-day-at-home work week will likely help on gas, but I would not expect it to be the magic bullet for all our office woes.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's not even so much to the point of working long hours - since i manage to go to the gym during lunch everyday - but instead in my opinion, it's all the lunches/dinners that my reps take us to. i don't normally eat 'full' meals ever during the day - and going to lunch w/ a rep - you end up eating a lot more than usual.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I definitely gained weight when I started working full time. I was so much more active in college ... always walking everywhere and always in some workout class or another. Now I rely on the elevator and public transportation.
adelka adelka 8 years
This was my 4th week working one day from home! GLORIOUS!!!!!!!!
cravinsugar cravinsugar 8 years
Well, while a 4 day work week sounds marv, lets all be honesy here...we are still going to have to work that 5th day, just not in the office. But that still helps as it allows for fgetting more sleep, nixing commute time, etc. However, I have decided to become healthier since the gas crunch, and bring my lunch to work everyday, buy healthy snacks and keep them in the fridge or my cabinet, and have started monitoring my calories online at sparkpeople to ensure I am not mindlessly eating as i sit at my desk. I find that afer a week I am getting used to my plan although the scale isn't saying anything is happening yet. next up: exercise! my desk job will not bring me down anymore! :-)
tiff58 tiff58 8 years
Since my promotion (and subsequent move) I have gained some weight, especially due to the fact that I live one hour from work. The things you mentioned would absolutely help me, though. Our company allows these things, but my boss does not.
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
I gained when I got a promotion recently due to the change in hours, workload and stress. In the past few weeks I have made a point of eating away from my desk and going to the gym no matter what. It is hard but until 4 day work weeks and telecommuting become available at my company I do what I can.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 8 years
If these trends seriously happen I will be a VERY happy woman.
cmd0610 cmd0610 8 years
I've had a great healthy experience since I started working. . .I've lost a bit of weight and toned up a lot by beening more disciplined about working out (always right after work) compared when I was in college. In school I slept weird hours, always had some study session or lab or something that would cut in to working out time and the food was so horrible and unhealthy. But now after starting my job a bit less than a year ago I can eat healthier and have time in the evenings for working out- (of course I understand when people have kids it's harder) I do live my fiance so in order to not lose time hanging out together we go play tennis together or run together etc . . . I understand the snacks and temptations at work but you have to just stick to what's healthy and make smart choices and not blame the fact that the snacks are sitting around on your gaining weight or inability to use some self control.
ktownpolarbear ktownpolarbear 8 years
i have definitely started gaining weight and not working out as much since i started my job. a 4 day work week would definitely help!
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