Survey Results: Singapore Workers Reveal Their Working Weight Woes, in JobsCentral Survey

By Jonathan Tay

More than three in five Singapore workers (61.7 per cent) have gained weight since starting work. Furthermore, 16.8 per cent have reported gaining at least 20 kg since joining the workforce. This is according to an online study conducted by JobsCentral which included the responses of more than 3,000 working adults in Singapore. The majority of weight gainers (59.3 per cent) recorded a more conservative increase of less than 10 kg.

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Increase in weight with more years of work

The survey revealed that weight gainers put on an average of 3 kg for every year of work. In addition, workers appear to experience the largest surge in weight increase during their first year of employment, averaging a total weight gain of 6.5 kg. The increase in average weight gain continues with more years of work and the highest average weight gain (14.4 kg) is recorded by workers in their 8th year of work. Average weight gains eventually hit a near plateau among workers with work experiences of 10 years and above.

Events Management, Analysis and Finance have the highest proportion weight gainers

Professions with a larger proportion of reported weight gainers are:

i. Events Management (76.2 per cent)
ii. Analyst (73 per cent)
iii. Finance (68.4 per cent)
iv. Human Resource (67.9 per cent)
v. Consulting (67.2 per cent)
vi. Accounting/ Audit (66.5 per cent)
vii. Business Development (65.5 per cent)
viii. Supply Chain/ Distribution (65.4 per cent)
ix. Marketing (65.3 per cent)
x. Administrative (65.3 per cent)

Conversely, workers holding the following jobs have a smaller proportion reporting an increase in weight:

i. Legal (53.6 per cent)
ii. Military Service/ Uniformed Group (53.6 per cent)
iii. Education/ Training (54.2 per cent)
iv. Risk Management (54.2 per cent)
v. Writing/ Editorial (58.1 per cent)
vi. Public Relations (58.5 per cent)
vii. Health Care Provider (58.6 per cent)
viii. Operations (58.6 per cent)
ix. Engineering (59.5 per cent)
x. Research and Development (59.6 per cent)

Women more likely to gain weight, but Men put on more pounds when they do
Incidences of weight gain appear to be a tad more frequent among Female workers (64.3 per cent) than among Males (59.7 per cent). Even so, the average increase in weight recorded among Female workers (9 kg) is lower compared to Male workers (14 kg).

More weight gainers among those making at least $10k a month

Workers making a monthly income of at least $10,000 were found to have the largest proportion of weight gainers (70.4 per cent), as compared to workers with a monthly salary of less than $2,000 (57.4 per cent) and workers earning $2,000 to $3,999 (62.9 per cent).

Lack of time or energy to exercise among the most common reason for an expanding waistline

While 48.1 per cent of workers attribute their weight gain to eating more because of work stress, 76.1 per cent say that they are unable to find the time or energy to exercise. Yet another 63.1 per cent blame their extra pounds on too much sitting around all day. Other reasons cited by workers explaining their gain in weight include:

• Slower metabolism from age (44 per cent)
• Too much snacking or unhealthy food (34.6 per cent)
• Consuming higher-calorie food due to a higher income (15.8 per cent)
• Picking up bad eating habits from colleagues (11 per cent)
• Overreliance on personal transport (7.2 per cent)

Survey Methodology

The online study was conducted among 3,568 Singapore workers aged 16 and over from 22 May to 23 June 2013.

The respondents were employed individuals from both the public and private sectors and include a wide range of occupation levels and work industries.

Using a confidence level of 95% and sample size of 3,568, the results of this survey have a sampling error of +/- 1.64 per cent. This means that the results are statistically significant and that for every 100 times the exact survey is conducted, the results obtained are conformable to a margin of error of +/- 1.64 per cent, 95 per cent of the time.

The JobsCentral Group, a CareerBuilder company, is the owner of, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community. Alternatively, Like us on JobsCentral Facebook Page or Follow JobsCentral on Twitter for more career-centric content!

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