You know sitting on your butt in a swivel chair all day doesn’t do your figure any favors. But desk time isn’t the only way your job may predispose you to weight gain. The more vending machines and water coolers your office has, the more soda you may drink, suggests a new Virginia Tech study.
The researchers calculated the body mass indexes (BMIs) of 1,482 people enrolled in a weight-loss trial, then investigated potential workplace factors – long hours, the availability of an on-site gym, break times – that could influence their intake of sugary beverages (a well-established contributor to weight gain).
First, the good news: Female employees tended to drink less of the stuff than men did. But that doesn’t mean you’re immune to sipping empty calories: The more water coolers and vending machines available per employee, the more sugary drinks people in the study tended to consume. Being allowed to take two or more breaks per day also seemed to lead to excessive soda intake among overweight workers.
You don’t have to stay chained to your desk all day, though. (That just sounds miserable.) If you have a 15-minute break, grab a bottle of water and take a stroll outside – just don’t walk past the vending machines on your way out!