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Desk-job lifestyle linked to obesity

DESK jobs are increasing obesity, with many employees and employers ignorant of the risks of sitting down all day, researchers said yesterday.

"Obesity is an epidemic, rising at troubling proportions," said John S. Evans, a senior lecturer at Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.

The study suggests that a link between obesity and conditions in the workplace was growing. "As the workplace becomes our second home, our traditional diets have been swapped for fast food that is high in saturates," said Evans, one of the researchers.

Two billion people worldwide will be overweight by 2015, and more than 700 million will be obese, according to the researchers, whose study examined exercise and working habits across the European Union.

"A basic cause of obesity related to the workplace is a lack of awareness of how serious this issue is among employers and employees," said Athena Linos, an epidemiology lecturer at Athens University. "Factors include work-related stress, overtime and desk-bound jobs."

A lack of designated areas for employees to store and eat their food, and a lack of on-site gyms were among the factors increasing obesity, the researchers said.


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