Following on from last Thursday’s story in which we reported UK office workers consume on average 700 calories per day more than workers in other environments, a Canadian study has found that office work increases the risk of obesity.
Researchers at the University of Montreal have been addressing the conundrum that, although since the 1970s diets have improved and more people are exercising, obesity rates have continued to rise.
“People eat better and exercise more today than they did in the 1970s, yet obesity rates continue to rise,” says study leader Carl-Étienne Juneau. Juneau suggests the explanation may lie in changing work habits, in particular the post-industrial shift towards more desk-oriented, less physically demanding jobs.
The investigators collected data over a 26-year period between 1978 and 2004. During this time, obesity increased by 10 percent among the sample. This rise occurred despite a decrease in calorie intake and increased leisure-time activity in the same period.