Full-Time Work Can Harm Your Ability to Exercise



Regardless of the type of work you do, chances are that your body is noticeably affected by it. From warehouse workers lifting having boxes daily, to those who spend their days on computer chairs staring at screens, to those somewhere in between, working can make our bodies feel weird, old, out-of-shape, or just downright sore.

According to a study conducted by Chicago-based human resources and recruitment firm, CareerBuilder, more than half of polled full-time workers believed that they have put on extra weight because of their jobs. They note sedentary behaviour, stress eating and being too tired to exercise as reasons for putting on the pounds. Even those who have access to an at-work gym or wellness program stated that they don’t have time to take advantage of such offerings.

In all, 55% of survey participants felt overweight and 44% claim to have gained weight since starting their current job. Conversely, just 17% said they had lost weight at their latest place of employment. By gender, 49% of women polled said they have put on weight since beginning their latest job, while 39% felt the same way.

Although a customary lunch break at a full-time job usually lasts 60 minutes, it is often a struggle to squeeze in a gym session. Getting there, changing, exercising, stretching, showering, changing again, then getting back to the office (and maybe eating) leaves little time for a worthwhile fitness routine. Sure, some will argue that a little time at the gym is better than no time at all, but it can be tough to get motivated and psyched about the results of maybe a 20-30 lunch hour workout – especially if it feels rushed.

Yes, it can be argued that pre- and post-workday fitness routines should be arranged by those unable to exercise at lunchtime. But again, it can be just as difficult to squeeze in early morning/evening gym sessions when you factor in the commute, family obligations and getting enough sack time.

So, what can you do?

Well, maybe entertain the idea of a little exercise being better than nothing. Or, at the very least, keep a closer eye on your diet and how you treat your body at the workplace – a little extra attention (and stretching!) can go a long way.

-Adam Grant