Is Your Workplace "Phat" or "Fat"?

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Employees Reveal How Their Workplace Affects Their Waistline, Ceridian LifeWorks Offers Fat-Busting Tips and Online Phatometer

Obesity costs employers billions of dollars every year

MINNEAPOLIS - October 24, 2007 - Is your workplace making you fat?

Ceridian LifeWorks, a leading provider of employee assistance programs (EAP) and health and productivity solutions, asked employees across the country to weigh in on how their workplaces affect their waistlines. Responses included:

  •     Sweet pushers! My co- workers are always bringing cookies, brownies and donuts to work.
  •     Surrounded by snackers. It's a desk job with no exercise and my co-workers have poor eating habits.
  •     I eat what I make. I keep eating the cheese we make at the factory, snacking is really easy.
  •     Stuck between a treadmill and a Donut. Co-workers bring treats, such as donuts, on the other hand there is a fitness center to promote good health.
  •     An employee at rest tends to stay at rest. Being that I sit all day, it is very hard for me to go out and exercise.
  •     Bottomless cup of soda. I could lose more weight if it wasn't for free soda at work.
  •     A time to eat and a time to sow. I'm a self-employed farmer and I have unusual eating patterns in the spring and the fall.

"Obesity costs employers billions of dollars every year," said Ceridian LifeWorks senior vice president Zachary Meyer. "Although controlling bodyweight ultimately requires employees to take personal responsibility for their daily decisions related to things like nutrition and fitness, employers have the power to encourage healthy workplace choices. Employers can realize significant weight management improvements among staff by offering things like healthy snack selections in vending machines and kitchens, fitness center discounts and incentives for participating in wellness activities."

To help determine whether your workplace is "phat" or "fat" when it comes to health promotion, Meyer encourages workers to visit Ceridian's Workplace Phatometer and offers the following tips for individual employees looking to make "weight wise" choices at work:

  •     Bring healthy snacks from home. This way you won't be at the mercy of the tray of treats brought in by a coworker or less-healthy vending machine choices when hunger hits.
  •     Plan ahead and pack your lunch. Thinking ahead and taking a healthy salad, sandwich, or thermos of soup to work can fill you up. Plus, it's ready to eat when you are, and costs a lot less than ordering in.
  •     Eat when you're hungry. If you get mid-morning hunger pangs, eat a healthy snack. If you wait until lunchtime, when you are starved, you may eat more than you intended and make less healthy dining choices.
  •     Find time for a walk. Try to get up out of your chair and get some steps in every day. Park far away and walk. Take the stairs. Add a walk around the building to your lunch hour routine. Take a "walking meeting" with your colleagues
  •     Avoid stress snacking. Stress at work is unavoidable. However, you can control how you respond to it. Instead of grabbing a candy bar, fat-loaded muffin, or extra large mocha with whip cream to calm you down, do some deep breathing, stretching, or talk to that coworker who can always make you smile.
  •     Choose low calorie foods. Diet sodas, artificial sweeteners, and low calorie foods can readily substitute for higher calorie snacks. Avoiding just one extra teaspoon of sugar a day can avert almost a 12 pound weight gain over a year, and one regular soda has the equivalents of about 9 teaspoons alone.
  •     Control your intake. Research has shown that controlling the amount of calories you eat can be more effective in controlling weight than just exercising alone. Taking a large drink of water before your meal can make you feel fuller, and avoid those last few bites of extra calories.
  •     Track your habits. Keeping a food diary is a great way to see what, when and why you eat. It can help you figure out what your strengths and pitfalls are and help you create a plan to improve your eating.
  •     Stay inspired. What will help you remember to stick to your weight management goals? It could be a photo on your computer screen, a reminder of an upcoming event or vacation on your bulletin board, or a clipping of a reward you will give yourself for your success.

Obesity costs U.S. companies more than $13 billion annually in medical fees and lost productivity and is associated with 39 million lost workdays, according to the National Business Group on Health. To address this important issue, Ceridian Weight Management offers a non-diet approach to weight loss and maintenance. This modern solution is a holistic approach, addressing the total needs to the participant.
Ceridian's most recent outcome report showed that eighty-nine percent of Ceridian Weight Management participants achieved weight loss or weight stabilization. Over half of the participants achieved positive lifestyle changes and improvement in body mass index (BMI), which translates directly into healthcare cost savings and decreased absenteeism.

Ceridian was the nation's first provider of fully integrated EAP, work-life and wellness services. Today, Ceridian's EAP, work-life and health and productivity solutions are utilized by more than 37,000 organizations of all sizes in virtually every industry. A key component of LifeWorks EAP involves a stress management regimen that focuses on stress related to the workplace in four main areas: job-related stress, work relationships, work changes and time management issues.

About Ceridian:
Ceridian Corp. (NYSE: CEN) is a business services company that helps its customers maximize the power of their people, lower their costs and focus on what they do best. The company's suite of innovative managed human resource solutions includes payroll and compensation, staffing, compliance, HR administration and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), work-life and health and productivity solutions. Ceridian serves businesses and employees in the United States, Canada and Europe. For more information about the human resource outsourcing company's comprehensive array of solutions, visit http://www.myceridian.com or call (800) 729-7655.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Pete Stoddart
Ceridian
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