Nearly half of workers in CareerBuilder poll blame excess weight on their sedentary jobs

Dive Brief:

  • More than half of the workers polled in a CareerBuilder survey think they’re overweight, and 45% blame their jobs. Harris Poll conducted the survey of 3,420 full-time workers in the private sector.
  • Although one-quarter of the respondents had access to their organizations’ wellness programs, 63% don’t use them, the survey results show. A quarter of the employees said they gained 10 pounds on the job, and 10% said they gained 20 pounds, according to the study.
  • The top three reasons respondents gave for the weight gain were: prolonged sitting (51%), too tired from work to exercise (45%) and eating because of stress (38%).

Dive Insight:

All the health conditions the respondents cite in the survey — obesity, binge-eating, stress and a lack of exercise — are conditions wellness programs can address. But it seems that, for whatever reason, employees still aren't using them.

Employers might need to increase incentives to get more workers to participate in their programs or, at the very least, make such programs more visible. Ease of access and reporting is particularly important, which is why some healthcare providers have begun teaming up with wearable providers. Many employees already use or have a wearable of some kind, further improving access.

Stress is a particularly profound problem for employees in almost every industry, as it underpins a variety of other health issues, including weight-gain. Stress could stem from financial issues, which are increasingly being addressed through education programs, from undiagnosed behavioral issues or even from underreporting hours worked, leading to burnout and resentment.

Filed Under: HR Management Comp & Benefits
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