Health & Wellness Articles

Too Much Work Can Pack On the Pounds

Overtime May Add More to Your Waistline than Your Wallet

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Researchers concluded that both risk factors involve work fatigue or burnout—conditions that may tempt workers to soothe midday stress by turning to vending machine treats, scarfing down fast food, and skipping exercise because they lack both time and energy. So what can you do if extra hours on the job may be causing you to pack on the pounds? Only you can be the judge of what you can do to improve the situation, but here are some tips that may help:
  • Take a break from your television for a week—or even one day a week. You may be surprised to find yourself enjoying the quiet, picking up a book you've always meant to read, or talking to your kids. At the very least, you may find yourself going to bed earlier when you feel tired, instead of spacing out in front of the boob tube.
     
  • Look for areas of your life to simplify or consolidate. For example, can you set aside a day to run all (or even most) of your errands, saving time and gas? Can you teach your kids to plan ahead so that you’re not heading to the mall every other day?
     
  • Evaluate your work schedule and tasks. See which items require some overtime, and then try to plan one or two days to consciously work overtime to accomplish those tasks. You may still be working long hours, but you’ll have some control over your schedule, rather than being at someone else’s whims. You may even improve your efficiency.
     
  • Take a good hard look at your job. Is it a good fit for you? While we all have areas of dissatisfaction in our work, it’s generally not normal to be continually exhausted at the end of the day. When we’re well suited to our work, we should enjoy it much of the time. Assuming that you don’t have an untenable amount of work (and if you do, that may require a conversation with the boss), maybe it’s time to start looking for a new job.
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About The Author

Rebecca Pratt Rebecca Pratt
A freelance writer who contributes to various newspapers and magazines, Becky loves covering ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

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