Is your office bad for your health?

-Oct 30, Jenny Paul, Health -


Whether it’s cakes for birthdays, retirement parties, anniversaries or cupcakes brought in by colleagues, junk food lunches because there’s no healthy options nearby, or the fact that sitting at your desk all day long is incredibly unhealthy, there’s no doubt that working in an office environment isn’t necessarily the best thing for your health.

Millions of office workers pile on the pounds during the first 12 months of working – according to a new survey.  Researchers found that the average person puts on just under half a stone in their first year of new employment. This is down to a number of different factors. A fifth blame their colleagues for their expanding waistlines, while one in ten claim the boss is responsible.

Six in ten people polled admit their sedentary lifestyle – sitting at a desk for eight hours a day – has contributed to their weight gain.

While fifty-six percent find it impossible to resist the biscuits, sweets and cakes brought in by colleagues. And one in six people say the only way they would have any success with a new diet would be if fellow workers joined them on their health quest.

Dr Emma Derbyshire, a registered Public Health Nutritionist said: “When we are at work and energy levels are low there is a tendency to reach for biscuits or chocolate for a quick energy rush.

“However, our blood sugar levels will soon plunge back. Opting for fruits that are naturally sweet such as blueberries or raspberries that are easy to eat in the office will do us far more good in the long run. These are a natural source of energy without the free sugars of biscuits or chocolate whilst also providing a good dose of antioxidants and fibre”.

Birthday cakes in the office, free lunches or breakfasts from employers and a vending machine in the office are all held responsible for office workers gaining weight. As employees aren’t taking notice of the calorie content within the food supplied to them.

While 17 per cent of people polled say working near to a fast food restaurant doesn’t help their bid to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Six in ten find it impossible to resist food being shared or offered around the office.

The findings show pressures at work also lead workers to reach for treats such as chocolate, biscuits or cakes – with thirty four percent admitting they’re more likely to give into temptation in on a busy day, while fifty-four percent will eat unhealthily if they’re feeling stressed.

That ‘Friday feeling’ leads to twenty seven percent to eat badly, while twenty six percent don’t watch what they’re eating if they’re bored.

The study shows that the average office worker is reaching for treats just three hours into the normal working day.

It may come as no surprise then, to learn that over the course of one year, office workers have tried and failed on FIVE diets – and four of these failures are a direct result of temptations at work.

Almost a quarter of workers say when they do diet, their colleagues don’t encourage them, and 38 per cent say keeping trim is hard when you have a boss who is overly generous with treats, or piles on so much work that you’re too tired to work out.

Dr Emma Derbyshire added: “Office lifestyles can be tough on our waistlines. Drinking water, keeping a daily log of foods and drinks eaten and having some healthy snacks to hand such as vegetable sticks, nuts or berries can all help. Whether in schools, parties or in the office when bringing in treats we shouldn’t immediately turn to biscuits, chocolate and sweets. A punnet of berries can be just as tasty without contributing to excess calories.”



  1. Sitting at the desk for a long time – TRY these office yoga poses.
  2. Stress / having a busy day at work – HERE’s six office stress busters.
  3. Boredom – HOW to give your brain a workout.
  4. Feeling tired – DOUBLE your afternoon energy.
  5. Being too tired to exercise – HOW to fall in love with working out.
  6. Too many offers of free cake and biscuits from colleagues – TRY this brilliant tip.
  7. Not having time to exercise – HOW to find time to exercise.
  8. Bad weather outside – HERE’s how to workout at home.
  9. Long hours resulting in late or unusual meal times – TRY these meals in a glass that everyone will LOVE.
  10. Always buying lunch for work instead of homemade lunches – MAKE this the night before and pack some up for lunch the next morning.




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