"In many ways, today’s workplaces promote—or at least enable—poor eating habits and physical inactivity, says Arla Day, PhD, Canada Research Chair, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.
'A lot of workplaces offer no access to healthy eating options,” she says. In addition, many jobs involve sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day.'
And if you are sedentary for eight hours, that’s both strike one and two against you,” she adds, noting that some experts think that sitting is the “new smoking” in terms of impact on health. Strike three is experiencing high workplace stress and being treated poorly at work. Stress can be particularly detrimental in maintaining or managing your weight. Not only are the biological effects of chronic stress directly related to the development of obesity, but unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as overeating and physical inactivity, may also contribute to weight gain.
'When people are under stress, their eating can become disordered—skipping meals, binge eating—which can lead to obesity, and which then can lead to more stress, so that it can continue as a downward cycle,' says Dr. Day."