IT Workers Lead U.S. in Weight Gain on the Job

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 05-01-2014 Email Print this article Print

Americans' ongoing struggles with weight issues remain a well-documented fact: More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The estimated annual medical cost for those who are obese is $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. Yet, even within the context of a national health crisis, a recent survey from CareerBuilder presents findings which CIOs may find particularly troubling: Tech workers lead all industry categories in gaining weight on the job. Employees are also at a greater disadvantage if they're female, older or (sorry, CIOs!) a manager. A number of factors appear to be driving this unfortunate trend, including a lack of exercise and activity among a surprisingly high percentage of professionals, as well as the wealth of office-based tasty temptations, such as coworkers' treats and unhealthy fast food. Perhaps it's time for CIOs and other managers to encourage far fewer cake days while making sure there are lots of wholesome fruits available in the pantry? A total of 3,022 workers participated in the research. For more about the survey, click here.

  • Heavy Admission

    55% of workers categorize themselves as overweight.
    Heavy Admission
  • Tech Challenge

    50% of IT employees have gained weight on the job—tops among all vocations—compared to 39% of U.S. workers overall.
    Tech Challenge
  • Consequences of Scale

    39% say they've gained weight at their current job, with 21% putting on more than 10 pounds.
    Consequences of Scale
  • Weighty Load

    44% of managers say they've added pounds in their current job, compared to 38% of non-managers.
    Weighty Load
  • Generational Divide

    40% of those 35 and older have gained weight on the job, compared to 30% of those 24 or younger.
    Generational Divide
  • Gender Differences

    46% of women workers say they've gained weight on the job, compared to 33% of males.
    Gender Differences
  • Slim Status

    18% of professionals say coworkers who are fit and thin are shown more favoritism in the office.
    Slim Status
  • Troublesome Treats

    21% of workers who have gained weight blame it on colleagues who bring treats into the office.
    Troublesome Treats
  • Get Circulated

    42% of employees don't exercise regularly, and 13% don't do so at all.
    Get Circulated
  • Best Practices: Get Up, Stand Up

    Find excuses to move around: Take stairs instead of elevators. Get up and walk to co-workers' desks to converse instead of using e-mail or the phone.
    Best Practices: Get Up, Stand Up
  • Best Practices: Pack It In

    28% of employees who've gained weight say they dine out too often. So pack your lunches to help control portions and avoid unhealthy impulse choices like junk or fast food.
    Best Practices: Pack It In
  • Best Practices: A Little Goes a Long Way

    Keep tiny, healthy snacks such as fruit at your desk. Focus on smaller but more frequent nutritious meals instead of large, heavy portions.
    Best Practices: A Little Goes a Long Way
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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