50 tips for Keeping Fit at Work - Part 1

Contrary to the current status quo, Office Fitness are convinced that a huge amount can be achieved in the normal 8 hour working day... and we intend to show the UK exactly how.

We're accustomed to thinking the only form of exercise worthy of consideration is 40 minutes plus in a gym or out running, when in fact, greater benefits can be achieved by exercising in chunks of  ‘little and often' - which is closer to how we evolved.

Tailoring a working day to include exercise is proven to provide a huge plethora of health benefits, including combating the serious health implications associated with prolonged sitting. Not only do desk based jobs negatively impact on physical and mental well-being, but they also contribute towards costing the UK £29 million in workplace absences.

Last week’s address by cross bench peer, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, highlighted: “The NHS is struggling to cope with the rising number of musculo-skeletal problems and lifestyle-related diseases brought about by inactivity at work. Back, neck and muscle pain are already the largest cause of the UK's 131million sick-days.”

Here at Office Fitness, we believe that work is largely about routine. If we associate activities with these routines, they can become very powerful in forging new habits in a way that's more convenient - and possibly more long term - than going to a gym. Given the time we're required to be at work and the time pressures outside of work, why not micro-exercise throughout the day as a day-long workout, but done in a way that does not impact productivity.

The key to exercise and activity in the office is to form associations with common tasks and setting goals to make them stick. As an example: chin-ups. Most adults would struggle to do 2 or 3 in a gym but over the course of the day you could be looking at way in excess of 15-20 if you associate passing under a lesser used doorway (the printer room perhaps?) with the need to do 2 chin ups every time. That’s  assuming, of course, there is a chin up bar in the doorway which is where appropriate equipment type and placement comes in.

Understandably, not every employee will feel comfortable exercising in a shared office, but we have found that initial amusement of colleagues quickly gives way to acceptance and eventual willingness to get involved.

Within the UK, many employers are beginning to see the benefits of a healthier workforce first hand. Although for some this might seem too radical, a more discrete answer is to set aside a dedicated room for activity, where staff can break from sitting - even for two to three minutes at a time in order to carry out 'mirco-workouts' during the day.

Office Fitness believes that a mindset change is all that's needed for organisations to maximise the benefit. With very low costs to introduce largely 'off the shelf' fitness equipment, firms can have a healthier, more productive and more engaged workforce. Global multi-nationals such as Google, merge home and work into their office design, so why not fuse fitness and work?

Now that we have given you the background, in Part 2 we're jumping straight into the Tips section - 50 of them ....give or take a few