Nurses work long hours
Nurses often work 12-hour shifts, and they may have trouble finding time to exercise or stick to a healthy eating plan. On average, shift workers get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep each night (which is one reason why shift workers are at risk for many health problems).
Here are some other reasons Why Do Nurses Gain Weight:
Nurses are on their feet all day and don’t have time to exercise:
Nursing is not the type of job where you’re just sitting in a chair all day. Nurses are on their feet, walking around doing things all day. They also need to be moving around to do their jobs well and avoid hurting themselves or others (for example, if they didn’t move quickly enough when caring for someone experiencing an emergency).
Some nurses need to be at certain areas immediately when a patient has an emergency, but that depends on the facility and how it’s set up.
Nurses eat more because they take care of everyone else:
It may seem like moms and nurses always have room for dessert or can’t turn down a slice of cake while others do. But, women and men who care for other people all day need to refuel too.
Everyone is different when it comes to how much they eat and what they like to eat, but nurses who are around food all day may influence their eating habits. For example, one study of Australia’s nurses found that nearly half of them reported increased hunger while at work.
Nurses eat more because they’re stressed:Nurses sometimes feel under a lot of pressure and may use food as a coping mechanism. If they don’t get their work done on time, they can become anxious and stressed out, leading them to turn to candy bars, chips, or other snacks for some relief. This makes it harder for nurses to keep their weight in check. For example, one study found that the number of stress nurses experience on an average day affects how much food they choose to eat at their next meal.
This may be one reason why some nurses may want to eat “comfort food” that’s high in sugar or carbohydrates like pasta, bread, and rice.
Nurses eat unhealthy foods because they’re always on the go:Sometimes nurses need to grab food on their way to work or eat at their station while they’re working. This may be because there is no time for breaks, the cafeteria is closed, or they don’t feel like walking somewhere else. Some cafeterias offer meals with lower calories and healthier options (such as salads), but nurses may not always have the time to check out all of their choices.
Nurses don’t get enough sleep, and this affects their weight:On average, nurses get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep a night. One study found that people who reported sleeping six or fewer hours at night were more likely to increase waist circumference. This may be because sleep deprivation affects levels of the hormone leptin, which helps control appetite. Skimping on sleep also makes it harder to exercise.
Nurses drink too much coffee, and this contributes to weight gain:Coffee especially caffeinated is a stimulant, and too much of it may affect weight gain. It’s common to hear about people drinking a lot of coffee during the day since this beverage contains caffeine, giving people energy. However, consuming too much caffeine leads to feelings of jitteriness and nervousness and trouble sleeping, which may affect weight gain.
Nursing is a physically demanding job, and it’s hard to stay in shape when you’re working all the time:Working 12 hours at a hospital or clinic is physically exhausting. Nurses need to use their hands and arms and their legs to move around, which means that it’s easy for them to experience pain in these areas if they’re not active. If nurses have access to exercise equipment at work, this can help them stay strong and keep from gaining weight.
Nurses are on call, and this means staying up at night, which also makes it harder to keep the weight off:On-call nurses need to sleep during the day, making it harder for them to get enough rest. Plus, they also have an additional responsibility that can make it hard to stick with a healthy eating plan or exercise program if they answer the phone when someone calls in sick, this means taking on even more work.
Nurses eat junk food because it’s readily available at work:Sometimes nurses don’t have access to fresh fruit or vegetables, and they may resort to eating unhealthy food instead especially if someone brought a box of doughnuts to the hospital! While some hospitals offer lower calories and healthier options (such as salads), this isn’t always the case.
Nurses are too tired to cook, so they resort to eating out or fast food:Sometimes nurses get burnt out after a long shift and don’t feel like cooking dinner when they get home. They may order take-out or go straight for fast food instead of spending the time to fix their meal.
Nurses are busy and don’t have time to exercise:
Some nurses are too tired to exercise after a 12-hour shift. Plus, they may not feel comfortable walking around the hospital at night especially if there’s no one else working or it’s dark outside, which can make it harder for them to get any exercise.
Nurses don’t always have the money to buy their food:
Sometimes it can be hard to pay for groceries with a limited income, and nurses may eat whatever is available at discounted prices. This isn’t always healthy or nutritious!
they’re not taught how to balance food and exercise:
Nurses don’t always receive training about healthy eating or integrating exercise into their daily routine. Some hospitals also prohibit nurses from eating in inpatient rooms, which means they may not get the calories needed during an exhausting shift.
Some nurses become sick of healthy food and develop a taste for junk food:
It’s easy for nurses to get tired of healthy foods and develop a taste for junk food, especially if they’re at the hospital or clinic all the time. If nurses have access to vending machines when they’re at work, this may contribute to weight gain over time since many vending machine snacks are high in sugar or fat.