How a desk job can make you fat: Bored office workers gain a stone a year by gorging on unhealthy snacks
16:34 GMT, 2 July 2012
Being desk-bound and bored at work is fuelling Britain's obesity epidemic as employees are reaching for unhealthy snacks to pass the day.
Competition to bring the best cakes into the office on special occasions like birthdays is also contributing to bulging waistlines, according to a recent survey.
Researchers found 42 per cent of office workers have gained up to a stone in a year as they graze on snacks such as cake and biscuits during their working hours.
Snack time: Almost half of the office workers questioned in a survey admitted they have gained weight in the last year thanks to eating unhealthy treats at work
Boredom was cited as the biggest factor in workers reaching for a treat while others needed a sugar rush to get them through the working day.
Men were found to be the worst culprits as 50 per cent of those questioned admitted they had a snacking addiction.
Thirty per cent of men said they felt left out if they avoided calorie-laden goodies being passed around the office while just 17 per cent of women said they find it impossible to resist office treats.
However, despite having greater willpower, the survey by men’s fashion retailer High and Mighty found more of the women polled put on weight over the course of a year.
Half of the women surveyed said they put on weight in the last year in contrast to 40 per cent of their male counterparts.
Temptation: Thirty per cent of men said they felt left out if they avoided calorie-laden goodies being passed around the office
Gill Politis, managing director of men’s fashion retailer High and Mighty, said: 'You’re going to lose and gain weight
throughout your life, it’s unavoidable. But our research seems to show
that you’re more likely to gain weight during your office life.'
She blamed the 'tremendous camaraderie as well as competition' in the workplace with people bringing in treats leading to a 'competitive spirit that says “my chocolate cake is better than yours”'.
'It’s the perfect storm that conspires against the diet-conscious,' she added.
The research into office weight gain was instigated by High and Mighty as part of a programme aimed at matching fashion with lifestyle changes.
For those who do change size during their office life, Ms Politis recommends wardrobe alterations. 'The worst thing you can do if you put on
or lose a couple of pounds is to stick to the same clothes. They’re
unflattering and will exaggerate your size,' she said.