An extra five pounds won’t hurt anything but your comfort level in your favorite jeans, but significant weight gain can cause or contribute to health problems like diabetes and heart disease, which is why most doctors advise their patients to maintain a healthy weight. (Just what a healthy weight is, of course, is always a matter of some debate.) Of course, in some jobs, it’s harder to keep the needle on the scale from creeping.
A recent article in the Herald Sun looked at jobs where workers report the most weight gain. They include:
1. Administrative assistants (69 percent)
2. Engineers (56 percent)
3. Teachers (51 percent)
Probably the most surprising thing about these jobs is that they’re not all sedentary. We’ve all heard that jobs today require less physical effort than jobs 50 years ago. Most stories about jobs and weight gain call this out as a primary factor in why workers are gaining weight, but the activity piece doesn’t explain why nurses and teachers, who are on their feet all day, also put on pounds.
The answer might lie in our stress levels. The Herald Sun article cites research that ties weight gain to jobs with limited physical activity or high stress levels. In other words, moving around a lot won’t save you from weight gain, if you work in an ICU.
Short of changing jobs to a mythical, unicorn gig that involves moderate physical activity and low stress levels — yoga teacher? treadmill tester? — the best we can do is to practice stress management techniques and try to remain as active as possible. At least we know we’re not alone in our struggle.
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