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Sitting at a desk all day isn't doing much for the waistlines of administrative assistants, a new study finds. And, they're not the only ones gaining weight at work.
Nearly 70 percent of assistants have gained weight while on the job, the most of any profession, research from CareerBuilder shows. Other jobs where more than half of employees report weight gain include teachers, engineers, nurses, physician assistants, IT managers and network administrators.
Overall, more than half of the workers surveyed consider themselves to be overweight, with 41 percent having gained the weight in their present jobs.
The study found that of those who say they've packed on the pounds, 59 percent gained more than 10 pounds and 30 percent put on more than 20 pounds. Just 16 percent of all workers say they've lost weight while at their current job.
Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said weight gain at work often comes from a combination of poor eating habits when on the go and not being able to fit a workout into a busy schedule.
"Two in five workers don't exercise on a regular basis and one in 10 don't exercise at all," Haefner said. "Whether it's daily walks with a co-worker or taking advantage of company wellness benefits, it's important to find a way to stay active."
Poor eating habits are one of the largest contributors to employee weight gain. More than half of workers surveyed go out to eat, instead of packing a lunch, at least once a week, with eating out three or more times a week. Additionally, 70 percent of workers snack during the day.
While it might not be having the intended outcome, the majority of employees are exercising regularly. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed work out on a regular basis, with 45 percent hitting the gym at least three times a week.
Haefner offers several tips for employees who are looking to stay fit this summer:
- Take walks: Get off the bus or train at an earlier stop and walk the remaining distance. Take the stairs at work, go for a stroll during lunch, or walk over to someone's desk instead of sending an email. The key is to increase activity throughout the day.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking water not only makes you feel full, it can also help cut down on calories from sugary drinks.
- Pack a lunch: Packing a lunch is an easy way to choose a healthy option and control portion sizes.
- Try fruit or veggies: Employees should keep some of their favorite healthy snacks in the break room refrigerator so they'll be less tempted to go to the vending machine.
- Keep a food journal: It helps keep track of calories and identify peak snacking times, which can assist in modifying behavior.
The study was based on surveys of 3,600 U.S. full-time workers.
This story was provided by BusinessNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow Chad Brooks on Twitter @cbrooks76 or BusinessNewsDaily @BNDarticles. We're also on Facebook & Google+. This story was originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.