By George_Carey

Chained to your desk? No-excuses office fitness

When you have a busy working day and an active social life, keeping fit and staying in shape can get pushed down the priority list. While exercise can seem time-consuming, Michael Cheary at offers some tips for how to fit in some all-important physical activity around your working day

Unless you have a physically demanding job most of us will spend several hours a day sitting down and such a sedentary daily routine can have serious consequences on our health and productivity. In fact, a recent report suggested that an inactive lifestyle is as bad for you as smoking. As such, health experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week – just over 20 minutes a day. The problem is that two out of three adults in the UK don’t manage this.

The reason for this, for many of us, is that there simply isn’t time to fit in exercise into the working week. But have you ever considered trying out some fitness ideas around your working day? Here are some tips to show you that work and working out don’t necessarily need to be mutually exclusive.

Make the most of your journey

Your daily commute presents a great fitness opportunity for those within walking, running or cycling distance of the office. If you don’t want to take this option every day, even just a few times a week could help boost your fitness levels.

Take the stairs

For a keep fit activity that won’t dent your wallet, why not skip the lift and try taking the stairs? For anyone on the second floor or above, this is sure to provide regular workouts throughout the day.

Use your colleagues

Getting colleagues on board with office fitness ideas is a great way to motivate yourself and others. You could suggest a few laps of the local park at lunchtime, a friendly game of squash on a Thursday evening, or put together an office sports team. There could even be opportunities to challenge other departments at sports activities to foster some friendly competition.

Start a fitness class in the office

If you don’t want to go elsewhere to try out new activities, why not bring them to you? One great use of office space after hours is for an in-house fitness class, such as yoga or dance. Friendly local instructors for a range of activities can be brought in to help more of the workforce stay in shape.

Don’t sit for too long

Even if you can’t manage fitting any strenuous exercise into your working day, it is important to take regular breaks away from your desk. A report from the European Heart Journal showed that taking lots of short breaks – even as quick as a minute to stand up, move around or climb the stairs – can be beneficial for your waistline and heart health.


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