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Too Much Work Can Pack On the Pounds

Overtime May Add More to Your Waistline than Your Wallet

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  • Erratic work/life schedules do have the potential to wreak havoc on eating. I keep healthy foods in my duffle bag so I always can eat good things. I keep a variety of things at all times, such as baggies of grapes, carrots, or celery; granola bars; bananas; peanuts; apple or pears; whole wheat crackers; or other similarly healthy snacks. If I didn’t, I’d always have trouble eating healthy things. I know the problem is further exacerbated when people work a crazy schedule and they also have to contend with going to school too. Leaving home at 6 am and not returning home until 10 pm or later. That can kill a diet.
  • Yes! Yes! Yes! I am also an educator, at the elementary level though. In my district teachers are expected to work an 8 hour day, though kids only go to school for 6 hours. We're paid for six hours so we can do the other 2 hours at home (plan lessons, grade papers, and tests, then analyze the results, etc.) The trouble is you end up working until it's done, so you do "overtime" without overtime pay. That set-up is stressful. Other districts pay teachers to work an 8 hour day at school and they can plan lessons and prep classrooms with colleagues: work smarter not in isolation and harder. If only the union bigwigs and the district could agree on that stress reducing solution!
  • SERAPHIMLIGHT
    This article is exactly on target. What I find interesting is that most of the employers I have worked for are incongruent. They preach employee wellness, yet create an unhealthy culture (high stress, too many hours, keeping employees sitting for long periods of time, unhealthy food and drinks available with no healthy substitutes, smoke breaks for smokers but none for non-smokers, etc.) where any healthy habits are extinguished in employees if they want to remain working there. This is a fabulous tool for those of us who have not yet created a healthy work environment for ourselves! Thank you SparkPeople and thanks to the author for providing solutions! Keep it coming!
  • A great article. I work 2 jobs and put in well over 70 hours a week. I am also a coleader with girl scouts for my daughters troop. I try to plan things out and make sure I'm focused on the healthy choices, but sometimes that is just not an option. Would love to downscale my hours, but don't see an end until after the first of the year. Let's face it, in this time of turmoil I am just grateful to be employed. Good luck to you all.
  • This article is so true and relavent to where I am right now. I work for myself but have been offered a chance to interview (a weeks worth ending with the CEO) and possibly go to work (3 weeks training all the way across the country) for a company that everyone is familiar with. Then I was offered a position where I would still be able to work for myself but incorporate a major company's product into my line of business (they provide everything, laptop, leads, etc.). No benefits since I will still work for myself but I will have a chance to work my way into that if I want. I weighted (along with my fiance') the time I would be away from home, 55 hrs. a week (but with benefits paid) with the 1st along with freedom of time management and family afforded the 2nd.. Guess what the 2nd won out!! I have finally taken time to take care of myself and the 1st would leave me too tired and stressed I'm sure.
  • HOLLY75
    I feel like this article is speaking to me more than anything I have read in a long time! While OT for me is usually just between 45-55 hours a week, those are very stressful hours (I am an Executive Assistant at a software company) and often use the "I'm too tired" excuse for almost everything I want to do outside work, including exercise and eating healthy. I think it's time to really reflect on this part of my life and see if it is the right thing for me at this point in my life!
  • I see so many common threads here. I, too, work long, irregular hours, eat lunch at my desk every day, and work around delicious -- and often fattening -- food as part of my job. Plus there's inevitably a special occasion that calls for cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, etc., virtually every week. I am trying to have healthy snacks on hand at my desk and in the office fridge, and I find that does help somewhat. I haven't lost in the past year, but I haven't gained, either!
  • I can believe this too. I think shift has a lot to do with this, as you just cannot stick to regular mealtimes, and just snack when you have time or you are hungry. Also end up snacking again when others are hungry!!
  • Not only sitting at the desk most of the day... how about part of the job requires providing food for group program participants (social service agency). Budget constraints makes it tough to plan healthier fare, as well as trying to meet "cultural tastes" so that the food gets eaten or toted home by the cliets (not left here for us to eat the next day). We don't do the "cookies & punch" thing - but the pizza & wings are killing us!!
  • SUESHRUM
    Sitting at a desk all day doesn't help any either! I even eat lunch at my desk while working.
  • Yep. All too true. Contract work for television is notorious for the long hours. I actually put on 40 pounds on one contract once. Ive noticed over the years how things tend to start to fall over for me. First its the sleep to go. Then on little sleep I dont feel well enough to exercise so that goes. On top of that with no sleep I'm a bit slower and more lethargic so packing lunches and keeping some level of planning and organization with meals goes. Leaving me skipping meals and eatting out. And well it just all falls over from there :P Stress levels go up, I dont feel well I'm not as productive, job satisfaction goes down....

  • PSALM22
    All good points. I know my life is simpler and less hectic (well, usually) when I don't watch or even, as now, don't own a TV.

    And taking a good look at the job. The last time I needed to find a new job, long hours was on my no-no list. Beent ehre, done that, no more, thank you kindly! I like have a job where I rarely (on the order of less than a dozen occasions in the past ten years) required to work OT. Do I sometimes miss the extra money? Yes, but not enough to want to move into a different position that requires significant OT.
  • FIRETOOL
    Not only the amount of hours but I am a third shift nurse. Now they always find an excuse to bring in a goodie or two full of sugar and caffeine. then when working anywhere from 60-72 hour weeks being so short there is always that "reward for working so hard" that i need to get out of that rut
  • An extra-long work day, which usually means bringing work home with me to do at night means if I take time to cook a healthy dinner or take time to exercise, that I am taking time AWAY from my husband and son! So I choose more convenience foods and skip my walk or workout.
  • WCHILES_SF
    My coworkers formed a weight-watchers group that met weekly and supported one another in our weight loss program. We ceased bringing in fattening snacks into the work place and started sharing goals and diet tips instead. Try turning your workplace from a source of temptation into a source of inspiration.

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