Twenty-six percent of workers gained more than 10 pounds, and 14% gained more than 20 pounds. Sixteen percent of respondents said they lost weight.
Certain occupations had a higher incidence of workers reporting weight gain, including:
- Travel Agent,
- Social Worker,
- Administrative Assistant,
- Protective Services (Police, Firefighter),
- Marketing/Public Relations Professional, and
- Information Technology Professional.
More than half of workers (54%) attributed their weight gain to sitting at their desk most of the day, and roughly the same amount (56%) stated they eat their lunch there as well.
Other culprits causing weight gain include:
- Eating because of stress – 37%;
- Eating out regularly – 23%;
- Having to skip meals because of time constraints – 19%;
- Workplace celebrations (potlucks, birthdays) – 18%;
- The temptation of the office candy jar – 16%; and
- Pressure to eat food co-workers bring in – 10%.
When asked how often they eat out at work for lunch instead of bringing their meal from home, 53% of workers said they do so at least once a week, 23% at least three times a week and 11% at least five times a week. Ten percent of workers indicated they eat lunch out of the vending machine at least once a week, and 71% said they snack during the workday.
Fifty-nine percent of workers reported they exercise regularly, and 10% said they don’t exercise at all.
The study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive from February 9 to March 2, included more than 5,700 workers across industries.