The more hours you put in at the office, the more likely you are to become obese, according to a new paper written by Joelle Abramowitz, an economist at the US Census Bureau. Abramowitz found that for every ten additional hours spent at the office each week, a higher body-mass index of 0.2 in men and 0.4 in women was the result. That translates to an average weight gain of 1.4 and 2.5 pounds respectively. While those in more active professions do not experience the same results, the trend of more sedentary work is a broad one:
“Only 20% of American jobs are even mildly strenuous, compared to 50% in 1960. In 1960 a tenth of the American workforce was involved in agriculture, but today it’s more like 1%. More time at the desk means less movement. Busy people may have less time to prepare good meals, instead choosing a take-away. … They exercise less. And workaholics sleep less: inadequate shut-eye is associated with weight gain.”
As sleep psychologist Shelby Harris explains in her Big Think interview, reaching deeper stages of sleep is essential to restoring your body. In this way, poor sleeping habits contribute largely to weight gain and obesity.