Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How the Workplace Leads to Weight Gain

It starts innocently enough. A birthday cake for the birthday girl, donuts for the early morning meeting, ice cream on the first warm day of the year… but before you know it, the office saboteur is in full-on pusher mode and you’ve gained five pounds of pudge from snacking at work.

A recent WSJ article highlights the sneaky ways colleagues can ruin your health and offers tips for you to (politely) fight back.

For anyone on a diet, it’s hard enough to consistently make healthy choices, but when friends and coworkers entice you with goodies on a regular basis, it can become downright impossible to stick with your plan.

Even for those of us who aren’t on a strict eating regimen, cookies and sweets are frequent temptations at the office. No one would dare leave a half open pack of cigarettes lying on their desk in view of their boss and coworkers, so why do so many employees feel like a candy bowl with treats for the taking is any better?

Of course, the general outlook towards candy is considerably more favorable than our outlook on cigarettes, but research shows that obesity-related chronic diseases are the overwhelming cause of death in America today. Two-thirds of the population is overweight or obese and the needle is only nudging higher. If the majority of Americans (60%) struggle with their weight, isn’t a candy bowl almost antagonistic in nature?

Employees who aim to be healthy should not be villanized or made to feel silly for their efforts. Instead, workers who lose weight (or maintain a healthy weight) should be considered champions of health in their organization. Those health-conscious individuals who go for a walk on their lunch break and do lunges down the hall to the restroom are, studies suggest, the most focused, most productive, and least costly (to the company) employees around.

How do you compare? Are you a workplace diet saboteur or a wellness champion?

1 comment:

Lacey said...

This is such a challenge at the workplace! I've been both the saboteur and champion. It depends on the day.