It’s the disturbing statistic that’s been floating around for several years now: almost a third of all U.S. adults are obese, making obesity an epidemic that affects all walks of American life, and as it turns out, all jobs and occupations, too. Recent data released by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine shows that the occupations with the most obese workers are actually police officers, fire fighters, and security officers — the very people who are supposed to be fit and protecting us — and more than 40 percent of them are obese. The healthiest occupations, meanwhile, were economists, scientists, and psychologists, with obesity rates of 14 percent.
It’s a problem, and your place of work (likely) wants to do something about it. It’s not uncommon to offer gym memberships for employees, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the newest “benefit” offered by companies is to give employees wearable fitness trackers, and to offer intra-office fitness competitions.
Why do they care? Simple. Employers would save an average of nine percent on healthcare if their employees were all fit, says economist Tatiana Andreyeva at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. Some companies even go as far as offering bariatric surgery for their employees.