Could the Workplace be the Leading Cause of Employee Obesity?

New studies show that the workplace can have a large influence on our health.


It is no secret that the importance of an active lifestyle and a strong diet are some of the most advocated and scientifically proven factors that lead to a long, healthy life. Within the last decade alone, hundreds of studies have come out which not only show that incorporating daily exercise and fitness into your life can decrease your risk of developing certain diseases and types of cancer, but it can also add years onto your life.


However, growing up, there was not nearly the amount of attention and necessity placed upon the importance of an active lifestyle as there is today. In large part, this was due to the fact that it was already present in our day-to-day activities.




For instance, 20 years ago, most kids were more likely to be seen playing outside or running around their neighborhood during the weekend, rather than spending their time spent cooped up inside?and they were not the only ones. Adults also used their time spent before the advent of laptops and cell phones to participate in active, outdoor activities that suited their interests.


However, even when you look beyond the couch-potato lifestyle and arrival of digital technology that has come to the forefront in the few decades, it is still not enough to explain the complex onset of nationwide weight-gain that has occurred in the last few years. In fact, it wasn’t until recently that a group of researchers may have found a new culprit in the obesity epidemic: the American workplace.


Lack of Activity In The Workplace


Today, an estimated one in three Americans are obese, and lack of workplace physical activity may very well account for a large part of the problem. For instance, according to a report published recently in the New York Times, jobs that required moderate physical activity, which accounted for 50% of the labor market in 1960, have now plummeted to just 20%. The remaining 80% of jobs are sedentary, or require only light activity. According to the report, this shift translates to an average decline of 120 to 140 calories a day in physical activity.


Plus, thanks to the advent of the internet and email,  many people who have service and desk jobs, which always involved only a moderate amount of activity, are now moving less than ever.


Improving Employee Health and Productivity


So, what can your company to ensure the health and wellness of your employees? All across the country, businesses need to start thinking of ways to engineer physical activity back into the workplace, whether it’s simple taking walks during breaks or encouraging employees to take the stairs. Corporate-sponsored wellness programs are another great way to motivate your employees to get active and start practicing daily exercise.


Through Walkingspree’s award winning corporate wellness program, employees can begin to improve their overall health and wellness, decrease their stress and experience multiple health improvements. Plus, our proven online walking program includes many benefits for your  business itself, including lower healthcare claims and a more efficient work environment.


If you want to learn more about how Walkingspree’s award winning corporate wellness program can benefit your business and your employees, contact us today to get one step closer to a healthier, cost-efficient work environment.


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