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Life happens. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good. This is an exploration of life and all that interests me. I am a therapist working in Norwich, Norfolk, UK. I'm fascinated in the world around me and how people deal with and relate to it. I like to further my knowledge of people, psychology and more. Please join me on my journey.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Employment gains - or weighty issue?

I recently wrote about the job search blues and the challenges facing those seeking work. But what of those actually in work and facing tough times? In this article I'm focusing on the issue of weight and discrimination at work. 

Employment can sometimes be clouded by more issues than the printer breaking for the 12th time in one day! It can also be a place where personal issues, like weight, can affect someone's chances of keeping their job and enjoying being at work. What of those people who had been affected at work because of their weight?
A recent study in the US (of nearly three thousand people) found that those who were overweight had faced employment discrimination of one type or another. 

The areas of discrimination can be things like being the target of negative humour and negative comments from co-workers and supervisors, and being treated differently because of weight, not being hired, being denied promotions, or even being fired because of carrying excess weight.
 survey participants classed as 'overweight' responded being 12 times more likely to have been discriminated against. Those classed as 'obese' were 37 times more likely, and 'severely obese' respondents were 100 times more likely than normal-weight respondents to have said they had faced employment discrimination. In this study, women were 16 times more likely to report weight-related employment discrimination than men.  What a horrible thought. Because weight is viewed in such a negative way, even if you are the most talented person in your company, you may at worst face losing your job because of your weight. 

I always thought that to keep a job there were some basic steps. Turn up on time, remember to work hard, achieve or exceed objectives and (usually), be part of a team. I hadn't considered that being a 'normal' weight was going to be one of those steps! Well now we know differently. 

If things go wrong at work, usually a plan is drawn up to sort it. There are also steps to take when it comes to improving our health and particularly to weight. We know we should eat healthily and be active. Sometimes it takes a bit more than knowing it though, doesn't it? If you want to move towards making a change in eating habits, plucking up the courage to seek help now may help you toward a healthy career, as well as a healthier lifestyle.  

I deal with the whole issue, not just the weight, it's about the person too.  If you think you would like to know more about making changes to your lifestyle, I'm here to help. 

About the Author: Angie loves helping other people achieve their potential at work and in life and achieving happiness using a range of therapeutic techniques. Based at the Norfolk Clinic (Complementary Healthcare Centre), 38-40 Magdalen Road, Norwich, Norfolk, UK.  Tel: 07773 610816 or email info@angiegiles.co.uk 

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