“I get free food at work, the cafeteria offers a range of entrées and the desserts are irresistible. It is a white collared job, mostly on computers so I’m sitting most of the day. I love my job; but help…my job is making me fat!”
It’s a matter of awareness and action that can help you fight fat at work. The more you know what and how much to eat and how little exercises around the work day can make a huge difference – the less weight gain you would see at your desk job.
Here are some tips and ideas from the websites that talk about how to cultivate healthy habits at your workplace and how not to let your job make you fat.
Easy, Healthy Workplace Snacks -12 portable goodies that will keep you away from the vending machine
By Elaine Magee
Aside from the fact that it’s good for mind, body, and soul to work breaks into the workday, this desktop dining habit is a potential health disaster, according to nutrition experts. Here’s why:
- When people snack at their desks, they tend to eat fast and furiously. And if you eat fast, you’re more likely to eat more than you need.
- When you eat while trying to work, it’s likely to be “mindless eating.” Your body is going through the motions, but your brain isn’t fully aware you’re eating. Again, this can lead to taking in more calories than your body really needs.
- Studies have shown that when we snack because of stress or boredom (not out of hunger), the calories we consume tend to be “extra” calories. In other words, we don’t compensate by eating less at the next meal or by waiting longer until the next meal. For example, a recent French study found that when lean young men were fed either a high-protein or high-carbohydrate snack 215 minutes after lunch, they ate about the same number of calories at dinner as they did on days when they didn’t have an afternoon snack.
How to watch your weight in the workplace
By Leanna Skarnulis
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic – Feature on MedicineNet
First, take a lesson from employers who are actively promoting good health habits in the workplace.
Logan Aluminum in Russellville, Ky., has an 11-year-old wellness program most workers can only dream about. The company has about 1,000 employees, mostly male. Each year the company sets company-wide goals and encourages work teams and individuals to set goals.
Last year’s employee goals included reducing body mass index (BMI), exercising at least three times a week, reducing tobacco use, increasing use of seat belts, and lowering health-care costs.
“Kentucky ranks fourth among states in the incidence of obesity,” says Logan’s wellness director, Teresa Lovely. “Around here, people raise tobacco and eat fried food.”
Last year, Logan saw a 4% increase in the number of workers whose BMI is in the acceptable range and an 8% increase in exercise. Of the 900 employees who set wellness goals, 800 met them and received $50 gift cards.
“That’s very high participation,” says Lovely. “The first year we had individual goals was 1997, and we awarded incentives to just 10 people.”
The wellness program includes classes, a fitness center, and a policy of offering healthy alternatives whenever the company provides food. For example, in addition to hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and soda at the company picnic, there are grilled chicken breasts, baked chips, bottled water, and fresh fruit. “We’ve made these changes, and people accept them,” says Lovely.
Is Your Job Making You Fat? Fight Back with Work Workouts
By Amy Teeple
Taking the Fight against the Office Weight Gain to the Next Level
If you are already using the above recommendations, there are things you can do to take your work workout to the next level. Just realize that you may elicit some curious stares from your coworkers.Additional steps you can take to add physical activity to your workday include:
Use Under-the-desk Exercise Machines – These small machines fit under your desk and can allow you to burn extra calories through a pedaling or stepping motion.
Replace Your Chair with a Balance Ball – Forcing your body to balance strengthens your core muscles and helps burn more calories.
Create a Desk Workout – The typical desk workout can take about five minutes. Popular components of desk workouts include:
- Wall push ups
- Jumping jacks
- Chair squats
- Torso twist
- Water bottle curls
Start a Weight Loss Support Group – These groups can take the form of true support groups or they can follow the growing trend of Biggest Loser-type competitions among coworkers.
What do you do keep off those extra pounds creeping on at work?