Study: Overworked Women Gain More Weight and How to Avoid It

07/10/2012

Women weight gain photoA study of 9,000 women between the ages of 45 and 50 found that those that work over 49 hours per week gained an average 1.9 percent weight over a two year period. Those who worked part time gained an average 1.5 percent weight.

“Employment was associated with more weight gain and less weight loss. Among the employed, working longer hours was associated with more weight gain, especially at the higher levels of weight gain where the health consequences are more serious,” according to the study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

The Telegraph reported that in the study long hours were considered 41 to 48 hours per week and very long hours were considered more than 49 hours. Women who worked long hours were also more likely to smoke, drink to dangerous levels, sleep less, and not exercise. 

"Working women are faced with so many different time pressures, which leaves them with less time to engage in physical activity and less time to prepare healthy meals," The lead author, Nicole Au, told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Schedule Weight Loss

But what if long hours aren’t negotiable? How can you adjust your schedule so that it’s more conducive to weight loss? Scheduling sleep is one of the most important things that you can do for weight loss. Try and wake up by 6:00 am and go to bed by 10 pm. Adopt at least a few super simple morning rituals like meditation, morning yoga, or a morning jog. The three biggest things that you can do when your schedule is busy is to cook ahead of time on Sunday, wake up early enough for exercise, and go to bed before 10 pm so that you get enough sleep. 

Photo: George Doyle/Thinkstock

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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