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Fight the Battle of the Bulge at Work

Workers often take new jobs to earn a fatter paycheck, but their bank accounts aren't the only things expanding.

Forty-seven percent of workers say they have gained weight since starting their present jobs, according to a recent CareerBuilder.com survey. The survey, "Work and Health 2005," was conducted from May 17, 2005 to May 27, 2005 and included more than 1,600 workers.

"Today's busy workers have trouble finding the time to cook healthy meals and exercise regularly, and their waistlines are suffering," says Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder.com. "Employers aren't offering much support in this area. Seventy-three percent of workers say their employers don't offer workout facilities, gym passes or weight loss programs to help their employees slim down."

Haefner offers the following tips to help workers fight the bulge at work:

-- Resurrect your lunch box.

Thirty-nine percent of workers say they eat out during the workday at least three times a week instead of packing a lunch, and one-in-ten workers say they eat out five times a week. By skipping the deli counter in favor of brown bags, you control your portions, cut calories and save money.

-- Hang up the phone.

Thanks to technology like email and voice mail, it's easy to stay glued to your chair all day. When you need to talk to a co-worker across the office, don't just reach for the phone. Walk over there and chat face-to-face. Those extra steps add up.

-- Blacklist the vending machines.

Thirty-five percent of workers say they snack at the office at least twice a day, and 43 percent of workers say they eat more unhealthy snacks at work than at home. Pack healthier snacks like yogurt and veggies in your work bag each day. That way, when the afternoon hunger hits, you won't beeline to the vending machines.

-- Keep a bottle of water at your desk.

Many workers reach for food when they're bored or stressed. If you keep a bottle of water next to you and sip it continuously throughout the day, you'll feel fuller and be less tempted to chow down.

-- Use your lunch hour.

If you have a fitness center in or near your office, your lunch hour is a prime time to squeeze in a workout. Or, grab a bite at your desk, then go out for a walk around your neighborhood.

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