Can Being Overweight Hurt You in the Workplace?

Can Being Overweight Hurt You in the WorkplaceDo you have a physical job? Are you carrying some extra weight? That excess weight can be harming your job performance and your general feelings of well-being while you are at work.

In a recent study, researchers found that people who were overweight or obese had about 60 percent less endurance than people who were in the normal weight range. The overweight participants also had less strength and felt more discomfort during work.

The problems associated with weight gain were, for some people, a vicious cycle. Gaining weight can result in pain, discomfort and lower levels of stamina. But when discomfort forces you to reduce your exercise levels, the result is that you gain more weight. In jobs ranging from nursing, police work and firefighting to postal service and delivery work, the reduced abilities meant more breaks and a lower feeling of well-being. Other studies have shown that people who are overweight often have higher levels of absenteeism, which can put a painful bite on one’s paycheck.

How to Feel More Energetic at Work

The study’s author had a number of suggestions to help people improve their workplace performance. Short periodic breaks can help recharge muscles and help fatigued workers get through the more physically demanding parts of their days. She also recommended that people exercise more during their off time to help feel better and improve their performance at work. Her recommendations included strength training to increase energy and range of motion. Two 30-minute sessions a week can be enough to see results.

When you increase your levels of exercise, you will gradually become stronger. This means taking less energy to complete tasks at work, functioning better on the job, and feeling better overall.

Though often easier said than done, losing weight can be the best thing you can do for your health. Research indicates that a structured medical weight loss program offers greater success than most commercial programs because of the program customization that occurs to accommodate lifestyle and medical issues.  Losing weight increases endurance and reduces the severity of many of the conditions that interfere with your ability to work comfortably.  Losing weight also decreases absenteeism and will reduce exposure to workplace stigmatization that is unfortunately present in our society.

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