The workplace can wreak havoc on employees’ waistlines, finds a survey.

A survey shows more than two in five workers (41%) say they have gained weight at their current job, with 19% saying they have gained more than 10 pounds in their current role. Conversely, 11% of all workers say they’ve lost weight at their present employer.

“Work-related stress, lack of sleep and overly packed schedules can often get in the way of healthy eating and exercise habits,” says Mark Bania, managing director of CareerBuilder Canada. “Poor physical health, however, can also take a toll on mental health and work quality, so it’s important for workers to stay active, even if it just means taking small breaks throughout the day to walk around or stretch.”

Read: Top employee health risk: Sedentary lifestyles

Exercise is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, but it may not be enough to keep workers in their ideal shape. Though the majority of workers (76%) exercise on a regular basis, and nearly half (47%) claim to work out at least three days week, 43% of workers feel they are overweight.

Sometimes a little extra incentive can motivate individuals to work out, but the majority of workers (67%) say their employers do not provide gym passes, workout facilities or wellness benefits. Of these workers, 67% say they would take advantage of such opportunities. Only 25% of workers say their company provides these types of incentives, and 8% are unsure.

When it comes to eating habits, it’s hard for workers to resist the allure of snack foods and restaurant meals. The majority of workers (71%) confess to snacking at work, and 63% say they regularly eat out at work instead of packing a lunch, and 28% eat out three times a week or more.

Read: Can employers really make a difference in employee health?

Men are more likely than women to report being overweight, with 62% of men saying they feel overweight, versus 52% of women. Interestingly, men are more likely to say they exercise on a regular basis (80% of men compared to 71% of women).

Sedentary roles, exhaustion and time constraints can present obstacles to staying fit. When asked what they felt contributed to their expanding waistlines, workers gave the following reasons:

  • sitting at my desk most of the day (53%);
  • too tired from work to exercise (37%);
  • no time to exercise before or after work (34%);
  • eating because of stress (28%);
  • eating out regularly (26%);
  • having to skip meals because of time constraints (19%);
  • the temptation of the office biscuit tin (17%);
  • pressure to eat food co-workers bring in (9%); and
  • happy hours (5%);

The national survey was conducted online on behalf of of more than 500 employees across Canada.

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Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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