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Lose Weight at Work

lose weight at work
File Photo Credit: SportSG

Before you join a company, the HR Department or your interviewer certainly did not warn you about a highly potential occupational hazard: weight gain.

More than 40 percent of people say they’ve gained weight at their current job, according to a recent Harris Interactive survey commissioned by CareerBuilder. What’s scarier: out of those who said they’ve gained weight, a whopping 59 percent gained more than four kilograms, and 30 percent gained more than nine kilograms.

Bradley Cardinal, PhD, a professor of social psychology of physical activity at Oregon State University interestingly points out, “[t]here’s a major decline in physical activity from 18 to 19 years old”. He also continues to highlight that if have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day long, that’s another drop in your physical activity. And as you climb the corporate ladder, you find yourself running errands less and less by the day.

So now what?

The good news: Small changes can go a long way. Change your habits at work and you can see the numbers go down on that scale and not forgetting a better overall health. Cardinal’s previous research shows that short bouts of activity – as brief as two minutes each – may impact your health just as much as hitting the gym for 30 minutes a day. But don’t be mistaken – these bouts need to add up to 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

And for those of you who’re already working out, it wouldn’t hurt to move more within the workplace. Cardinal says that it can help prevent some of the serious and frightening side effects associated with being physically inactive, like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Don’t know how to get moving in the workplace?

Check out these easy workday swaps that will help you burn more calories, reduce your bad cholesterol, increase your good cholesterol, improve cognitive functioning, and decrease your level of C-reactive proteins (responsible for signalling inflammation).


Park into a space that is farthest from your office and walk.


Take hourly active breaks (at least two minutes long). Walk up and down the stairs or do squats in the bathroom cubicle.


Walk to your colleagues’ desk and engage in a conversation instead of sending that email.


Walk to your lunch destination. Even better, take a short post-lunch stroll before returning to the office.


Take the stairs to that meeting!


Have to network or meet a friend? Suggest a walk or a class together instead of drinks.