Yes the headline is true! According to a study done by an American consultative firm, Americans are working in jobs that are 50% less active than they were fifty years ago. No longer are we required to stand for eight hours a day – we sit at computers and send emails. The same applies to the UK as well. Both our economies have shifted from manufacturing and agrarian societies to service and IT orientated. Obviously, your job isn’t the only thing that makes you fat but also food choices and levels of activity can contribute.
One of the studies that the firm quoted was actually done on London bus employees. The drivers (as they were more sedentary) were usually more obese than the ticket takers (who got to walk around all day). Not a huge surprise.
So what can you do to combat this the accrual of work weight? Glad you asked:
1. Get up - Don’t type that email. Go and chat with your coworkers. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Get off of the train one stop earlier.
2. Eat smart – A donut is so much more delicious than an apple – we get that. But limit donuts to one day a week.
3. Drink smart – It’s important for your body to drink plenty of fluids. Rotate between glasses of water and cups of tea. Your body will thank you for it!
Some companies have tried to combat this by assisting employees in getting gym memberships or sponsoring physical days out. The city of London has institued the Cycle Scheme for companies to help their employees buy bicycles. Ask your HR team if this is a possibility for your company. A more fit employee is usually a happy employee.