Is Workplace Stress Making You Fat?

Much research has been done on the point of how the work place affects our fitness and obesity levels; how sedentary jobs promote unhealthy lifestyles and quick fix meal options while at work make us pile on the pounds.

We have spoken before about the ways in which we can each of us make the effort to stay healthy at the workplace. Let us also examine how work related stress contributes to making one unhealthy and unfit:

It is more than just the fact that you sit before a computer all day and perhaps eat a lot of unhealthy and fat laden food that makes one likely to become over weight.

It is also the stress, anxiety and worry that are associated with the work place that can cause a person to gain weight.

There are several ways in which stress in the work place is a contributor to making you fat:


If you are stressed at work, it is likely that you are stressing about work at home and are having difficulty falling asleep or getting good quality restful sleep.

Also if there is a lot of stress at work, it is likely that you are using caffeine to prop you up during the day and are drinking too much coffee. If so, that will be another contributing factor to getting inadequate sleep; which can impact so many different areas of your life negatively.

Stress and TV viewing

If you are stressed at work, it is very likely that you will come back home and want to unwind by just planting yourself in front of the TV.

You probably have neither an inclination nor the energy to get active and hit the gym or enjoy a brisk walk out doors. So if you are stressed and consequently you are watching too much TV, you are obviously less fit and less healthy.

The hormone cortisol

Stress and stressful situations are not bad per se; small amounts of stress can spur you to do better work and increase productivity. However chronic, recurring stress is bad because it increases production of the hormone cortisol in the body that triggers the fight or flight response in the body.

Cortisol is known to slow down the metabolism and make the body hold on to fat reserves; in particular abdominal fat which is the worst kind of fat. Stressful situations also make you crave food (comfort eating) and can alter blood sugar levels.