Nearly Half of U.S. Workers Have Gained Weight at Their Current Jobs, Survey Finds
- Expert Offers Tips to Avoid Extra Pounds During the Winter -

With cold weather and holiday parties just around the corner, the office can be particularly hazardous for putting on extra pounds. Forty-nine percent of workers say they have gained weight at their current jobs, according to a recent survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, of more than 5,600 workers nationwide.

Twenty-eight percent of workers report they have gained more than ten pounds and 13 percent say they have gained more than 20 pounds while in their present positions. Comparing genders, more women (52 percent) than men (46 percent) say they have gained weight at their current jobs.

"In the fall and winter, it becomes particularly difficult to stay on track," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at "Holiday and end-of-year business obligations, along with the temptations of office treats and cold weather keeping workers indoors, all combine to make it difficult to maintain healthy habits. Workers who plan ahead and apply moderation will be in a much better position to avoid fall and winter weight gain."

According to the survey, many workers are not taking food matters into their own hands. Fifty-eight percent of the workers surveyed say they eat out at work for lunch at least once a week, with more than one-in-ten (12 percent) eating out five times a week for lunch.

Some workers don't even make their way out of the building and opt for the vending machine. Thirteen percent of workers admit to eating lunch out of the vending machine at work at least once a week.

When asked about snacking at work, 38 percent of workers say they eat more unhealthy snacks at the office than at home. Twenty percent say they do not usually eat fruits or vegetables during the work week.

In terms of snacking frequency, 69 percent of workers say they snack at least once during the workday. Thirty-seven percent say they snack at least twice a day and 12 percent say at least three times a day.

Haefner recommends the following tips for fending off fall and winter weight gain in the workplace:

  -- Stock the shelves -- pack your office drawers with healthy and filling
     snacks, so it will be easier to elude comfort food temptations on
     chilly days.
  -- Drink and be merry -- keep a bottle of water at your desk and drink it
     throughout the day to curb your urge to chow down.
  -- Start a support group -- get together with other co-workers and start a
     lunch or fitness group that will help keep everyone on track.
  -- Brown-bag it -- take a few extra minutes to pack your lunch.  You can
     control portions and lessen the strain on your waistband and your
  -- Indulge without guilt -- let's face it, sometimes dessert is just too
     hard to pass up.  The key is everything in moderation.
  -- Keep your mouth busy -- chewing gum or chatting with co-workers can
     help you to avoid that second trip to the sweet table at office holiday

  Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 5,600 US employees, (employed full-time; not self-employed; with no involvement in hiring decisions), ages 18 and over within the United States between June 1 and June 13, 2007. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

With a pure probability sample of 5,600, one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.3 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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