Is your job making you fat? How to lose weight and control your waist at work
By Ken Lloyd, PhD & Stacey Laura Lloyd (Nero Books)
When I sighted the cover of this book, I expected a light-weight how-to about “al desko” exercise rationalised by more of the “sitting is the new smoking” message we’re all hearing.
Inside, I found a deep-dive into why our white-collar jobs are making us fat (yes, I’m boxed in that pigeon-hole, even though I don’t work in a cubicle) and a multi-layered approach to turning that chubby-ness around.
Ken Lloyd and Stacey Lloyd have co-produced a remarkably in-depth guide to whittling your waistline by changing your on-the-job behaviour.
It’s a modern malaise, and it’s as real for midlifers as for any other age group: “While approximately 50 percent of all jobs in 1960 required at least moderate physical activity, that number has dropped to a mere 20 percent today. And to make matters worse, a related finding shows that the remaining 80 percent of jobs typically call for minimal physical activity.”
The book’s premise may be based on US data, but there’s no doubt the issue of work-related weight is global.
Across ten brimming-with-tips chapters (and a whopping 290 pages, including bibliography + index), the authors present the problem areas related to work and then bowl them down, one-by-one, with a barrage of can-do actions.
Sure, there’s a chapter on integrating more movement into your work day (think standing desk, treadmill desk, regular breaks and even under-desk pedal pushers), but what’s unexpected are the chapters on the many ways your work routine effects your wellbeing: breakfast, the temptations of the corporate foodscape, your commute, events/conferences, travelling and dinners.
The chapter on job stress is inspired and there’s even a wildcard chapter for unusual occupations / job situations – Conventional Strategies for Unconventional Jobs – covering home-based workers (thank you!), shift workers and more.
The style is creative and engaging with just enough humour. Incredible detail defines hundreds of positive actions you can take to reduce the impact of work on your weight, from how to manage peer pressure from colleagues to better planning your daily commute.
Have you considered varying the route of your daily drive to work to beat boredom and eliminate the sights and landmarks that can become habitual snack-triggers over time?
Wouldn’t you love to curtail the damage done by the super-tempting food and beverage catering at corporate events?
For every problem, the authors provide a range of solutions, see-sawing from the stuff your mum told you to ingenious, new fix-its. Only, with this book, you have it all in the one place, easy-to-access through the Table of Contents or the Index. And the comprehensive Bibliography (that’s a PhD for you) will convince even the most cynical.
You really feel like there’s no excuse for not putting some of these suggestions into action.
Whether you’re a white collar worker, manager or business owner, you’d do well to read-up on how you can improve work-related wellbeing … for yourself and those around you. Need an extra incentive? The correlation between wellbeing and productivity is undeniable.
As the the book’s intro tells us, obesity has been declared a disease. “What’s a major cause of this epidemic? Your job. Consider this book your inoculation. The only thing that should be fat on your job is your paycheck.”
Disclosure: Nero Books sent me a review copy of this book. Opinions are my own.