With more and more office jobs springing up in the UK and less people employed in manual, or labour-intensive, jobs, obesity in the workplace is increasing. There are certain sedentary jobs which promote obesity particularly including many jobs in the finance and IT professions that see you not leaving your desk except to go to the toilet or get a drink.
The UK has a huge financial industry, and this is one of the key sedentary occupations in the country. You are literally chained to your desk for hours on end delivering work to very tight deadlines and you feel you don’t have time for exercise. However, most financial services companies know this and will help you try and get on fitness programmes – speak to your welfare representative in human resources. Many larger banks even have gym facilities in the office and if you’re clever about it you can take work there to do – if there’s a long document you need to read through by the end of the day, get an audio copy of it and put it on your iPod to listen to on the treadmill.
Other ways of reducing the obesity effects of sedentary jobs include making every effort to do even the smallest bit of exercise whilst in the office. This includes things like taking a walk over to your colleague’s desk instead of instant messaging him, go for a walk whilst you take your lunch break, or take the stairs rather than the lift to get to your office if you want. If you’re feeling particularly good, run up the stairs!
If you are thinking of following a career path and want to move away from a more sedentary job for the purpose of your health you might want to consider something in construction. If you work in the finance or IT professions, you already have the numerical analysis skills required to go into an engineering job and following a role like this will make you more active – you will be visiting sites on a regular basis which get you out of the office and walking around rough terrain. A construction surveyor will partake in similar work.
Finally, a recent study has shown that Americans sitting at their desks in sedentary jobs for a longer time, show a strong correlation with the amount of extra weight that they have put on since the 1960s. However, the most of that extra weight could be reduced by just 2.5 hours of moderate exercise (or 1.25 hours of vigorous exercise) every week – a small price to pay for your health.