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Why your job is making you fat

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A recent global survey by Career Builder found 41% of respondents believe they’ve gained weight because of their job.

More than half (56%) of respondents blamed sitting at their desk all day for their weight gain, 35% said it’s because of stress-induced eating, and a quarter said they eat out too often.

While we don’t have localised statistics on those factors, I can’t imagine the numbers being too far removed from the global average (especially since Singapore’s favourite hobby is eating).

Not forgetting Singapore ranked poorly on Gallup’s happiness survey last year, or that sick employees take 15 extra sick days a year, we decided more can be done to create a healthier, happier and more engaged local workforce.

We rounded up four senior HR leaders in Singapore and asked them for their biggest advice on staying healthy – and happy – at work.

Kumar Abhishek, VP of HR at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said one simple trick to stay healthy at work is to “walk to talk, and use the staircase if going a few floors up or down”.

Phan Yoke Fei, group head of human resources at Auric Pacific Group, added walking over to other colleagues’ offices or desks to discuss work, rather than relying on emails and chat applications, can help as well. He also said it’s important to remember to drink lots of fluid.

Meanwhile, Lau Yin Cheng, director for the human resources and organisation development cluster at the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, said it’s important to not only eat nutritiously at work, but to also think harmoniously in order to create a more positive energy.

Gareth Ling, director of people and culture at MEC, summarised it in one word: smile.

“You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes to yourself and everyone else,” he said.

We couldn’t agree more.

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