Teachers, Nurse Practitioners Report Job-Related Weight Gain

June 4, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - More than half (55%) of workers polled consider themselves overweight, and 41% have gained weight at their present jobs.

Of those who say they have gained weight, 59% gained more than 10 pounds, and 30% gained more than 20 pounds. Conversely, 16% of all workers say they have lost weight while at their current job.  

Professions that often involve high stress levels or long hours behind a desk had a higher percentage of workers putting on extra pounds. Among those most likely to report weight gain: 

  • Administrative Assistant (69%); 
  • Engineer (56%); 
  • Teacher/Instructor K-12 (51%); 
  • Nurse Practitioner or Physician’s Assistant (51%); 
  • IT Manager/Network Administrator (51%); 
  • Attorney/Judge/ Legal Professional (48%); 
  • Machine Operator/Assembly/Production Worker (45%);and 
  • Scientist, Biological/Physical/Social (39%). 


Sedentary roles, readily-available junk food and time constraints that lead to unhealthy eating habits can make it tough to stay fit. Workers cited the following causes for expanding waistlines: 

  • Sitting at my desk most of the day – 56%; 
  • Eating because of stress – 35%; 
  • Eating out regularly – 26%; 
  • The temptation of the office candy jar – 17%; 
  • Having to skip meals because of time constraints – 17%; 
  • Workplace celebrations (potlucks, birthdays) – 17%; 
  • Pressure to eat food co-workers bring in – 9%; and 
  • Happy hours – 4%. 

Controlling portions and calorie counts can be a challenge if most of your food intake during the workday is from takeout. More than half (54%) of workers go out to eat instead of packing a lunch at least once a week, and one-quarter (24%) eat out three or more times a week. Eight percent say they eat lunch out of the vending machine at least once a week, while 70% of workers snack during the day.   

While more than half of workers feel they are overweight, three in five (59%) say they work out on a regular basis, with 45% hitting the gym at least three times a week. Forty-two percent of workers get their workout in after clocking out for the day, compared to 16% working out before going to the office and 8% exercising during lunch. Thirty percent say they exercise, but not regularly, and 11% do not exercise at all.  

Three in ten workers said their companies provide wellness benefits such as workout facilities or gym passes. Of these workers, 36% take advantage of them.   

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,690 workers (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 11 and March 6, 2013.