UGA study links job stress, weight gain

“We have so many things coming at us every day, and we only have so much energy,” says Heather Padilla, faculty member and researcher in the Workplace Health Group in the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health.

A new study from the University of Georgia suggests feeling overworked contributes to a variety of unhealthy behaviors that can mean weight fain. Padilla (pictured above) says they interviewed one thousand men and women about work, asking not only how many hours they worked but how difficult it was. They found people with burnout or heavier workloads tended to eat emotionally, overeat eat fattier food and exercise less.

Padilla says most workplace programs on wellness and weight loss don't incorporate job demands, and that's something they want to look at next.

“Anecdotally, the findings aren’t shocking,” said Padilla, but she said they do point to a greater need to understand how job demands affect issues like obesity.

“We spend so many of our waking hours at work,” she said. “These findings require us to think about how our work affects our health behaviors and self-care.”

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