5 Ways to Lose Weight at Work

5 Ways to Lose Weight at Work Photo (cc) by Ed Yourdon

Summer officially begins next Wednesday, June 20. So how’s that New Year’s weight-loss resolution holding up?

A new survey suggests many people aren’t ready to hit the beach and show off just yet – and work might be to blame.

The survey by jobs website CareerBuilder, released last week, found 44 percent of workers said they’ve gained weight at their current jobs – with more than half saying they gained more than 10 pounds, and a third saying it was more than 20. Only 16 percent of workers said they lost weight at their current job.

The survey also found weight gain was linked to certain high-stress and sedentary positions, including police, teachers, and IT workers. Here are the reported causes…

  • Eating lunch at the desk – 56 percent
  • Sitting at a desk most of the day – 54 percent
  • Snacking because of stress – 37 percent
  • Eating out regularly – 23 percent
  • Workplace celebrations (potlucks, birthdays) – 18 percent
  • The office candy jar – 16 percent
  • Pressure to eat food co-workers bring in – 10 percent

Based on those tips, CareerBuilder also offered some advice on keeping fit at the office…

1. Walk more

“Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or stop by a coworker’s desk instead of sending an email,” CareerBuilder suggests. Depending on your commute, you could also make time before or after work for a jog or the gym. Or if you don’t drive, get off at an earlier train or bus stop to get in those extra steps.

2. Snack healthy

“Snacking can seem innocent when done in small bits and pieces, but the extra calories will start to add up quickly,” CareerBuilder says. Keep healthy eating options like carrot chips, bananas, or nuts on hand.

3. Pack your lunch

“Bringing your lunch to work helps you better control your portions and also saves you money,” CareerBuilder says. The survey also reports 10 percent of workers eat lunch from the vending machine once a week, and just 11 percent bring their lunch every work day. Packing your lunch takes a little longer, but it tastes better and costs less. And if you keep track of your calories with a smartphone app, knowing what you eat in advance lets you add them when you’re not too busy and might forget.

4. Choose water

Skip soda and juice and stick with H2O instead. “This helps make you feel fuller faster, and cuts down on the calories,” CareerBuilder says. Plus: free refills.

5. Sneak in some exercise

“Take daily walks with a coworker, replace your chair with an exercise ball for part of the day, and keep free weights at your desk,” CareerBuilder says. Of course, you don’t want to violate office policy or lie on your time sheet to do so. Find out about office chair exercises or where to get cheap gym equipment in our story How to Find the Right Gym or Get Fit on Your Own.

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