In a recent survey by CareerBuilder of 3,700 employees working in various positions, 55 percent of employees considered themselves overweight.

As most jobs have an inherent element of stress in them. what if the stress we face daily at our jobs is causing us to become overweight?

The survey found that the top five positions that encourage weight gain are administrative assistants, engineers, teachers, nurses, and IT technicians. Fifty six percent of these people blame sitting at their desks as well as work-related stress eating for their weight gain.

Most individuals, who had put on weight, had done so due to high stress levels and spending a majority of their time at work or behind a desk. Accordingly, the body's stress response is often a leading cause of weight gain among students and professionals.

During stress, be it at work or during a physical altercation, the body induces its stress response, appropriately called the "fight-or-flight response." This response allows for the release of adrenaline, permitting the person to, literally, fight or muster the energy to run away from danger. In the workplace, stress may not give one the energy to run away, but will offer the endurance to complete tasks.

Adrenaline also accelerates heart and lung activity, constricts blood vessels to ensure rapid blood flow to the body parts in motion, utilizes energy, relaxes the bladder, and causes some loss of peripheral vision and hearing. This response is only meant to happen during times of severe stress; but if one's occupation is indeed very stressful, the excess of the response can cause anxiety, headaches, fatigue, and a change in eating habits.

Cortisol, another stress hormone released after adrenaline, increases sugars in the bloodstream to utilize more energy and gets them from carbohydrates and proteins. Cortisol also curbs functions that would be detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. Most notably, it suppresses digestion and inhibits the body's ability to use stored energy in the form of fat.

Fat has more energy than carbohydrates and proteins, but the process for its breakdown is time-consuming for a body. When a body is enduring stress, it needs a fast way to fuel itself. Because of this, fat can build up instead of being burned off as it normally would during times of rest, as opposed to stress. This creates weight gain, even if eating habits do not change in response to stress.

The survey also noted that only 16 percent of employed people felt that they lost weight while working, while 41 percent felt that they had gained anywhere between 5 and 20 lbs. since becoming employed.

However, these workers are certainly doing something about it. Sixty percent of them said they worked out regularly, while 36 percent admitted to taking advantage of their company's wellness benefits, like discounted gym memberships.

The body's stress response has its uses, but if it is overused, especially while at work, its adverse effects are clearly dire.