The Workplace—Bad for the Waistline?

Thanks to being glued to a computer screen and enjoying those office cocktail parties, many workers have packed on a few pounds since their last job.

Overall, 44% of workers said they have gained weight at their current jobs, up slightly from 43% in 2009, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Nearly one-third (32%) of workers said stress contributed to their weight gain at work—which backs up a recent study finding that stress contributes to weight gain (Is “Stress Making You Fat?”).

According to CareerBuilder, other factors workers cited for contributing to weight gain in the office included: sitting at a desk most of the day (49%); eating out regularly (25%); workplace celebrations (potlucks, birthdays, etc.) (16%), and skipping meals because of time constraints (14%).

More than one-quarter (28%) of employees reported they have gained more than 10 pounds and 12% say they gained more than 20 pounds while in their present positions.  

Comparing genders, women were more likely to put on weight more likely to gain a higher amount of pounds. Half of female workers (50%) said they have gained weight in their current position, compared to 39% of their male counterparts. Thirty percent of women gained more than 10 pounds compared to 23% of men.  

Though employees might be able to cut back on workplace weight gain by heading to the gym during lunch hour, only 9% of employees said they work up a sweat in the middle of the day. Female workers take advantage of a lunchtime workout more than their male counterparts ( 1% versus 8%, respectively).  

In addition, half of workers surveyed said they eat out for lunch at least five days a week, and two-thirds (65%) of employees snack at least once a day, including one-quarter that snack twice a day.  

The survey was conducted from February 10 through March 2 among more than 4,800 workers.