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Desk workers more obese

Receptionists and administrative workers are 69 per cent more likely to gain weight while working, according to a new study.

The research also found that more than half of all workers considered themselves overweight.

Scientists are the skinniest

Scientists put on the least weight with 39 per cent likely to report a weight gain while at work.

Alongside them were factory workers and machine operators with 45 per cent at risk of putting on weight.

It’s believed that jobs which involve sitting at a desk and a sedentary routine increased the chances of putting on weight.

Nurses, teachers, IT managers and legal professionals fell into the middle category with all of them reporting roughly a 50 per cent likelihood of obesity.

Causes include stress, sitting down and junk food

More than 40 per cent of workers said they had gained weight since they started their current job.

Of those who reported a weight gain, 59 per cent gained over 10 pounds – about 4.5 kg - and 30 per cent gained over 20 pounds.

Workers in sedentary roles such as receptionists pointed towards certain factors they believed were the main causes of their weight gain.

Of the people questioned, 56 per cent cited sitting at their desk as the main cause of their obesity alongside eating out of stress (35 per cent) and eating out regularly (26 per cent).

Other factors included readily-available junk food and time constraints while at work.

Reduce the risk of becoming obese

The survey was conducted by CareerBuilder on more than 3,600 full-time US workers between February and March 2013.

Rosemary Haefnar at CareerBuilder believes there are some tips workers can take to reduce the risk of becoming obese.

"Get off the bus or train at an earlier stop and walk the remaining distance.

"Also drinking water not only makes you feel full, it can also help cut down on calories from sugary drinks," she says.

Workers not exercising enough

The research found that many people did not exercise on a regular basis and one in 10 did no exercise at all.

Only 8 per cent of workers did any exercise during their lunch break.

Haefnar says: "Whether it’s daily walks with a co-worker or taking advantage of company gym benefits, it’s important to find a way to stay active.

"Weight gain at work often comes from a combination of poor eating habits when you’re on the go and not being able to fit a workout into a busy schedule."

Two-thirds of England obese

According to the NHS, most people in England are overweight or obese. Statistics show that just under two-thirds of adults and just under a third of children aged 2 to 15 are obese or overweight.

It is estimated that the health problems derived from obesity cost the NHS more than £5 billion every year.

Initiatives such as the Change4Life programme have been launched to combat the rising epidemic of obesity in the UK and improvements on food labelling and physical activity guides are two of their main campaigns.

Some private health insurance providers can offer incentives if you buy fruit and vegetables and can give you discounts on gym memberships. 

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Hugh Currell

Hugh Currell

Hugh Currell covers health-related news and features for Hugh graduated in journalism and was the editor of a current affairs magazine for a year.

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