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Lead Your Team Managing

Is Your Boss Getting Fat? Comes With the Territory

Is Your Boss Getting Fat? Comes With the Territory
People in management jobs are more likely to gain weight than people in non-management jobs. / Credit: Big stomach image via Shutterstock

Certain jobs are worse on the waistline then others, a new study finds.

Some industries are more prone to seeing employees gain weight on the job, with information technology and government leading the pack, according to research from CareerBuilder. Other industries that outpace the national average for employee weight gain include financial services, health care and professional and business services.

When it comes to specific job titles, those in charge have the toughest time keeping fit and trim. The study discovered that 44 percent of people in management roles have gained weight in their current job, compared to 38 percent of non-managers.

Overall, more than half of the workers surveyed categorize themselves as overweight. Nearly 40 percent have gained weight at their current job, with 21 percent putting on more than 10 pounds and 9 percent putting on more than 20 pounds.

The study found that just 16 percent of employees have actually lost weight at their job, with 45 percent saying their weight has stayed the same.

Older workers are more likely to report tipping the scales. Forty percent of those surveyed over age 35 have gained weight in their current job, compared to only 36 percent of those under 35. Eighteen- to 24-year-olds were the least likely, with 30 percent saying they put on extra pounds

The research shows that physical fitness may have some influence on how people are treated at the office. Nearly 1 in 5 workers feel that people who are thin and fit are shown more favoritism in their workplace.

For workers looking to shed some pounds, CareerBuilder experts offer several tips.

  • Avoid too many treats: Twenty-one percent of workers who have gained weight blame part of it on co-workers who bring treats into the office. Don't be afraid to politely decline when someone is passing around sweets. It's good practice to have a set of personal rules regarding treats in the office, such as a per-week limit or an "only Friday" policy.
  • Make exercise a part of your routine: Forty-two percent of workers don't exercise regularly, with 13 percent not exercising at all. Try sneaking a workout into your daily routine by getting off the bus or subway a stop early, working at a standing desk, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Get up: It's all too common in the modern office setting for people to send an email or instant message rather than get up and walk across the room. When you have the opportunity to stretch  your legs, take it.
  • Pack a lunch: Twenty-eight percent of employees who gained weight in their job say that one of the main culprits is regularly eating out. Packing your own lunch the night before allows you to take better control of your portion sizes, and helps you to avoid impulse decisions that often lead to less-healthy fast food.
  • Look into perks and benefits: More than 1 in 4 workers say their companies provide gym memberships or other wellness benefits, but nearly 1 in 10 say they don't know whether their company offers such perks. Check with your human resources department to make sure you're taking full advantage of what's offered.

The study was based on surveys of full-time workers over age 18.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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