Monday, June 1, 2009

How to Avoid On-the-Job Weight Gain

Even if you love your job, it may be killing you.

Australian researchers found that men sitting at their desks more than six hours a day are nearly twice as likely to be overweight than those who sit for less than 45 minutes a day. While women fared slightly better—spending on average 20 more minutes on their feet at the office than men—researchers conclude that a sedentary job is a major health concern for both genders.

And it’s no secret that sedentary jobs (and lifestyles) have contributed dramatically to the accelerating obesity rate of the past 20 years. Put emphasis on the word ‘dramatically’—a study conducted by the University of Chicago in 2001 found that a worker in a sedentary career may end up with a Body Mass Index 3.3 units higher than someone in a highly active job. If you’re 5'5" this can mean an increase in weight from 140 pounds to 155 pounds!

Now that you’ve heard the bad news, let’s turn to the good news…

You CAN love your less-than-active job and be fit. Here’s how:

Be sure to eat. It’s easy to slog through a day of meetings, e-mails, and phone calls to discover at 4 p.m. that you haven’t eaten since breakfast. But, your body needs energy to get you through the day.
Compensate, compensate. Get physical to compensate for your sedentary workday.
Rework your network. Chances are, your friends and co-workers need help with their love handles just as much as you do. So, try some new activities that don’t revolve around food.
Lose the technology. Modern advances are great, but do you control them or do they control you? As much as possible, take advantage of opportunities throughout the day to get up and move!
One in five Americans is obese; three in five are either overweight or obese. But sitting at a desk doesn’t have to mean you’ll be just another statistic! Incorporating these simple strategies into your workday will bring you one step closer to being a healthier, more energetic you.

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