The cliche of the coder sustained by a diet of pizza and Twinkies may not be far off the mark, if a survey of IT worker fitness is anything to go by.

Techies like to eat, with just over half of IT decision makers questioned saying they put away more than 2,500 calories daily. That means the majority of IT workers are eating too much, and consuming more calories each day than recommended by the Department of Health.

The culprit for techies’ poor diet could be being forced to snack on the job due to their long working hours: the survey found that IT workers enjoyed an average of just 6.9 hours downtime each week.

Long working hours are a common complaint for IT workers, with comments on TechRepublic’s recent article Bring Back the 40 hour week complaining of working days that stretch into the night.

IT workers’ voracious appetite could also be an attempt to take on board fuel and stay awake, as the majority of those surveyed get just six hours of sleep each night.

However just because IT workers cram in the calories it doesn’t mean they are losing the battle of the bulge. Those questioned spend an average of 36 minutes exercising each day, and three quarters rated themselves of above average fitness.

The survey of 250 IT decision makers was commissioned by network specialist Cisco to gauge their lifestyle choices in the run up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will get underway in London in two weeks.