Is Your Job Making You Fat?
By Marci Robin |
Signs point to 700 million obese people worldwide in 2015, and a very familiar inanimate object may be contributing to the problem: your desk.
"As the workplace becomes our second home, our traditional diets have been swapped for fast food that is high in saturates," explained John S. Evans, a Harvard researcher who was part of a team that recently looked at jobs and their impact on weight throughout Europe.
According to the study, jobs that keep us seated all day long are hurting our chances of staying slim.
Researchers reported that 19% of Dutch citizens perform no exercise at work. Think that's a lot? It's nothing compared to the Irish, Greeks or French, who have sedentary jobs at the rates of 31%, 55% and 61% respectively. (The study didn't look into Americans, but considering we lead the charge towards obesity, it probably isn't a low number.)
"A basic cause of obesity related to the workplace is a lack of awareness of how serious this issue is among employers and employees," the researchers stated. "Factors include work-related stress, overtime and desk-bound jobs."
The researchers believe that more areas designated to store and eat food, as well as on-site gyms, would help reverse the obesity trend. Although many employers won't be able add on entire rooms to their work sites, the researchers also feel that employers should offer fitness incentives to make getting healthy feel more fun.