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The ‘Office 15’ is the New ‘Freshman 15’

Going into college, many new high school grads were warned of the ‘Freshman 15’ and to be cautious. Remember those days of living off of ramen noodles and Hot Pockets? Although many individuals’ metabolisms may have been much more active then, all that sodium can NOT be good for you. Now as new college graduates enter the workforce, should we be warning them of the ‘Office 15’? A recent CareerBuilder survey has found that 2 in 5 workers have gained weight at their current job. Say it ain’t so! And here we thought that dreaded ‘Freshman 15’ was in the past… Unfortunately, these survey results tell a different story and your job may be the one to blame.

You were warned about the Freshman 15, but did anyone tell you about the Office 15? Click To Tweet


Stressin’ Out

We’ve all been there. The work day that just won’t quit and all you really want is a burrito smothered in cheese to make it all better. Well, it’s time to put down the burrito and take a look at these stats. The results from the survey show a strong association between workplace stress and workers who say they are overweight. Less than half of workers (41%) who say they have extremely low stress at work also said they feel they are overweight. But from workers who cited high on the job stress levels, 77% of them also said they felt overweight.

The American Psychological Association says, “38% of adults say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress. Half of these adults (49%) report engaging in these behaviors weekly or more.” It may be time to rethink the burrito choices when it comes to a stressful day.

To do: Breathe. It sounds like the obvious choice but mindful breathing when confronted with a stressful situation can reduce workplace stress, which can be as harmful as secondhand smoke!

38% of adults say they have overeaten or eaten unhealthy foods in the past month because of stress. Click To Tweet


It May Be the Snacks You’re Packin’

Healthy habits are obviously a must if you want to lose weight or even maintain your current status. Which healthy or not-so-healthy habits can hinder your weight loss at work? CareerBuilder cited a few like snacking at work, eating lunch at your desk, and eating takeout at least once a week for lunch. The results? You guessed it… Workers who said they have gained weight at their current job were more likely to participate in all of these activities compared to workers that say they have lost weight. This may be bad news for those snack bars and hidden candy drawers in the office.

To do: Grab some sugarless gum or stock the office with fruit (or get your boss to do it!)


Work Wellness and You

So what do these results tell us? Stress levels and what you do/eat while you seat at a desk for 8 hours a day greatly impact your health and wellness. But what’s a hard-working individual to do? You have to get your work done and sometimes, or a lot of the time, that involves stressful situations. There are ways to reduce stress while on the job like time management and identifying where your stress is really coming from. Are you possibly your own enemy when it comes to stress?

To do: Find out if the agony you’re experiencing is from your boss or really your own criticism. Shift your focus and perceptions accordingly to relieve some of that burden.

What about the snacks? Sitting and eating all day will never be the answer to help get your body in shape or stay in shape… as much as we wish it was. To do: Trade out that burrito for a burrito bowl with brown rice or some veggies and encourage coworkers to have standing meetings throughout the day.

To do: Stand-up or walking meetings are much more productive and give employees the opportunity to stretch their legs.


The ‘Office 15’ is a real thing but there are ways to get passed it for healthy lifestyle while working primarily at a desk. Will you warn the newbies this graduation season to be cautious? Let us know what you do to stay active in the office!