Is The Job Making Your Employees Fat?

John Krautzel
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More and more American companies have come to realize that the health of their employees should be a priority. Some firms offer workout equipment, healthy food at the office, Ping-Pong tables and massages at work. When weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure and other health maladies make it harder to work, many companies turned to wellness programs to help overweight workers.

A study conducted by CareerBuilder indicates certain jobs may lead to weight gain for employees. Overweight workers most likely come from jobs that require employees to sit for most of the day. Office workers, call center employees and IT professionals all pack on a few extra pounds as they sit on their computer terminals and phone banks.

As many as 51 percent of business services and professional employees have gained weight in their current positions. Up to 48 percent of IT professionals surveyed had some kind of weight gain since starting their jobs. Financial services, sales and leisure employees also showed they gained weight at least 35 percent of the time.

Some industries showed surprising results with the research. More than 35 percent of workers gained weight at health care, hospitality, manufacturing and retail positions. A few of these jobs, such as a retail clerk, housekeeper and servers still could lead to weight gain despite more active roles within a company. Manufacturing jobs may revolve around technology, computer programming or engineering rather than grunt work on a factory floor.

Age represents a factor for weight gain at work. Up to 45 percent of employees between the ages of 35 and 54 gained weight at their current position. This compared to 38 percent of workers less than 35 years old and 39 percent of those more than 55.

Job role did not play a factor as to who gained weight and who did not. Managers put on extra pounds just as much as entry-level employees. Up to 60 percent of workers overall felt their jobs added extra weight, yet 30 percent of American workers have access to workplace wellness programs. Workers feel these types of programs improve overall health, reduce health risks and increase energy. Employees become more motivated and produce more when they feel well at work.

Employees noted stress, sitting and fatigue on the job as reasons for added weight. Companies can expand workplace wellness programs to mitigate health problems even further by providing nap rooms, psychological counseling services and comfy chairs for more relaxed work duties.

Companies that invest in wellness programs get a simple return on investment. Employees with weight gain may live better, improve their quality of life and become better workers when they have access to tools that help them lose the pounds. Firms with healthy, happy employees improve turnover rates and increase profits by taking care of their own.

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