Is your job making you fat?
Whenever you watch a movie set in the Great Depression – The Grapes of Wrath, Cinderella Man, whatever – you always get the same feeling when you see the few people fortunate enough to get a day’s work breaking their backs unloading a container ship or sitting at a sewing machine for 14 hours straight.
“Man, we don’t do anything anymore!”
Indeed, for anyone to suggest Canadians work, physically speaking, more than they did decades ago would be Steven Tyler-level crazy. That’s a testament to innovation – for better or worse, advanced machinery have taken over much of business’ need for back-breaking labour – but have such workplace modernizations directly led to us getting fatter and fatter?
A new study out of the U.S. traced historical obesity rates and the percentage of jobs that require physical exertion over the past five decades, and it found an almost direct relationship between Americans getting fatter and doing less physical work at their jobs.
Sure, such a connection seems obvious. But considering the survey, performed by the research journal PLOS One, accounts for no diet or fitness club-like exercise patterns, the correlation is no less remarkable.
According to the study, less than 20 per cent of modern U.S. jobs require “at least moderate (physical) exertion,” a drop from nearly half of all private industry gigs 50 years ago.
During that time, a period that includes a national obesity rate that’s doubled over the past 30 years, American body weight gain among 40- to 50-year-olds since 1960 “closely matched” the relative drop in workplace exertion during that time. On average, workers lose 100 calories less at work each day than they did 50 years earlier.
You need not look past modern business headlines for reasons for this shift. Service jobs, which Bloomberg notes are much less physically strenuous than, say, manufacturing and agriculture jobs, now account for about 43 per cent of U.S. work, compared to just 20 per cent in the early 1960s. Similarly, while North America continues to outsource many of its more labour-intensive positions off the continent, more and more jobs here are no longer based in physical exertion – like, say, contributing to a finance blog using a keyboard and computer mouse, activating no muscles north of the elbow.
Have you noticed your job’s made you fat? Since you took that gig in an office or wherever, have you packed on a few or made changes in your day-to-day diet to compensate for burning less calories at work?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
*Follow Jason on Twitter here.
Posted by: choff | May 28, 2021 4:51:58 PM
Its not just that todays jobs require no physical effort, they force you to sit motionless for hours at a time. Combine that with the job anxiety of an economy that demands 8% unemployment to keep wage inflation down, a food industry that requires increasing levels of consuption to boost profits, and a host of other new social pressures, and it's no suprise at all to see waistlines getting bigger.
Posted by: John | May 28, 2021 7:30:05 PM
My job has definitely made me overweight. I sit in front of a computer for 12 hrs a day, 7 days a week. I do design work for major oil companies around the world, making $320 per hour. Hard to resist that!
Posted by: Chip | May 28, 2021 8:25:07 PM
@ John.... $320. per hour = $3840. per day = $19,200. per week = close to 1 Million per year. NO wonder the price of gas is so high if we have to subsidize overweight slobs like you for doing "designing ?" work for oil companies. Assuming you sleep 7 hours per day... maybe you can put the leftover 5 hours to some good use... like exercise. I'm sure you can afford a nice gym membership or even a personal trainer. If not, hopefully your inflated salary will help you get over the multiple heart attacks and other medical bills which will surely befall you and your obese carcass.
Posted by: John | May 29, 2021 6:35:39 AM
@Chip... You have absolutely no clue about my state of health or anything else for that matter. I see a doctor every 3 months. I am only 20 lbs overweight, and apart from that I am in very good health. Based on my medical assessments (from a real doctor, not some internet moron like you), I am at low risk for a heart attack. One of my colleagues, who is in top physical condition, exercises daily, eats well, has had a major heart attack, and can no longer work again. Your comments about my income is a joke. Obviously you do not make the amount I do, so you feel the need to lash out. Maybe you should have finished grade 3 (see how it feels when someone makes comments about you without any knowledge!). You think my income is what is driving gas prices? What an absolutely stupid concept!
Posted by: John | May 29, 2021 8:45:43 AM
@Chip... some more comments. What makes you think I need subsidizing? My income tax alone is likely several times your gross salary. I will be subsidizing people like you. I also have employees that I must pay, professional liability insurance and license fees that I must pay. These are huge costs. So you think my charge out rate is inflated? Do you have any concept of the work I do? The lead technologist I work with charges $495 per hour for work that is highly specialized. So I guess these oil companies in the Far East should hire high school dropouts at $60 per hour so they can design reactors that will explode. Maybe you should exercise your brain more...
Posted by: Chip | May 29, 2021 12:44:10 PM
@John. "Hey look at me... I work 12 hours/day, 7 days/week"... I make $320. per hour". Busy day at designing school I see; do you still punch your workaholic pay clock while posting on an internet blog !! You can also stop whining about your "huge" business related costs since I'm quite certain your creative financing accountant and H&R Block tax specialist can deduct your fat ass for those professional liability insurance, licensing fees and other expenses you're incurring. "I also have employees I must pay"... are you saying your employees are being paid out of your own hourly rate or per diem ? Try again dimmy !! When "government" aka tha tax payer subsidizes big oil companies or any other big business through tax cuts, etc. YES we are indirectly subsidizing your (and your employees) inflated salaries. And speaking of morons... if your job has made you 20 lbs overweight and you extrapolate that over the next 10-20 years, maybe you should start making doctor appointments every 3 weeks. Keep sucking back those donuts and 15 cups of coffee each day. See ya at the morgue !!
Posted by: Chip | May 29, 2021 12:57:47 PM
@John... nice to see you also took a break from your weary 84 hours per week work schedule to post the following gem. "I drink mostly gin martinis. I also like beer, but it cannot be from any of the big name breweries because their product is simply mosquito piss, catered to the mass tasteless consumer." Donuts, coffee, martinis and "designer" beer on the job !! Keep impressing us BIG Shot !! Better get that HBP and cholesterol checked out real soon... and make sure your will is in order.
Posted by: Janet | May 29, 2021 7:56:45 PM
@Chip... I think you have a serious problem. You obviously have feeilings of inadequacy about yourself. You must seek professional help, or just grow up.
Posted by: John | May 29, 2021 8:07:54 PM
@Chip... Don't worry your tiny little brain, my blood work is perfect. Again, jumping to conclusions based on no information. You just proved again that you are an uneducated moron. I will 52 this year and plan to fully retire, living off a pension that will probably make you sick judging from your unjustified comments already. What will you be doing? By the way, I do not eat donuts, nor drink coffee. How do you fit both of your feet into your mouth at the same time?
Posted by: Chris | May 29, 2021 8:32:24 PM
Chip, I have been reading your comments with much amusement. You just got "owned" by John! A little jealous are you? Maybe you should have finished school and acquired a real job, then you wouldn't be so bitter towards those who are successful.
Posted by: Chip | May 29, 2021 9:42:50 PM
No inadequacies here Janet. Do YOU need some help hugging your daily tree ? Chris... here ya go... amuse yourself some more. I finished university (how about you) and worked a real job for 32 years (how about you). As for Johnny Boy and his holier than thou/better than you fanclub... don't worry your fat azz about my "situation". I also retired at 52 and now do consulting work (as a hobby) for 6 months per year and spend the other 6 months in the south... and my pension goes straight into the bank or investments. Ain't feeling jealous or sick about you OR your upcoming little nest egg.
Posted by: Erin | May 30, 2021 4:33:48 AM
Chip, you are quite the piece of work! Maybe going south has fried your brain. Your comment to John about the "morgue" is quite sick. Who the hell do you think you are? I once knew someone just like you, with the same holier than thou attitude. Someone buried a pipe wrench into his brain and killed him instantly. Before you go on predicting other people's demise, think about your own. It may come sooner than you think. You really have a "chip" on your shoulder.
Posted by: Chris | May 30, 2021 5:03:03 AM
@Chip.. yes I finished university. I have a BASc. and Ph.D. I work for an alternative energy company. We design wind turbines and solar systems, and our biggest customer is one of the oil majors. I don't make as much as John, but that is not my concern. What strikes me, is why it concerns you. Why do you feel the need to jump all over someone who makes more than you, or works his/her azz off? I think Janet is right. Reading your posts, I can just imagine your blood pressure reaching critical. It doesn't take much to set you off. Maybe you should take your own advice and start seeing a doctor more frequently.
Posted by: Chip | May 30, 2021 8:42:20 AM
@Chris. MY blood pressure reaching critical !! LOL Doesn't take much to set me off !! ROFLMAO As you previously posted... you read my comments with much amusement. Ditto !!! This is ALL cyber entertainment to me and I chuckleyu myself to sleep every night seeing others getting "set off". Plug in your turbine and feel the... whoooshhhh !!
Posted by: Erin | May 30, 2021 11:51:59 AM
Chip, just one question. When you meet people in public that are overweight (which is highly likely given the percentage of those that are), do you openly ridicule them to their face, or do you only hide behind the anonymity of the internet like a true coward? There is a name for the likes of you: cyberbully.
Posted by: Levitt | May 30, 2021 12:05:19 PM
Erin, I think Chip's mother is April Newcomb, or maybe Lori Drew.
Posted by: John | May 31, 2021 8:00:42 AM
@Chip, by the way, yes, I do pay my employees (drafting and clerical) out of my hourly rate, What do you think, they work for free? Duh! And regarding your other post referring to "I drink mostly gin martinis".... WTF are you talking about????? Haven't you run out of feet to put into your month?
Posted by: Colour of money | May 31, 2021 1:31:46 PM
it's too bad that this little article generated so many useless comments.
Do you wonder if the author ever reads these inanities? Do they make him chuckle?
Retirement is so far off for me (at least 35 years) that I don't worry about it. I am building equity in a home and have no real long-term savings outside of that, for now. I spend my time and money on my family.
As for retiring at 70, I assume that I'll work till I die; I just need to find a career that allows you to work that long. Who wants to be a useless git playing golf and having no reason to know what day of the week it is?
Posted by: Colour of money | May 31, 2021 4:11:15 PM
posted on the wrong article