The holidays are over, you’re stuck at your desk again and your resolutions to get fit this Autumn are falling by the wayside. If you spend your work day hunched over a desk, you may be joining a legion of British workers with stiff, strained muscles. A poll of 2000 workers in Britain carried out by AXA PPP healthcare found that nearly half (46%) of the respondents sit at work for 4-6 hours per day, with 1 in 4 (25%) sitting for 7-8 hours daily.
Spending all day sitting down can also lead to a range of health problems. According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), lack of exercise and movement can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart and circulatory disease and general poor health.
Get moving in the office
Cue the ultimate 20-minute office workout – helping you stretch out those neglected muscles. The workout was created in collaboration with celebrity personal trainer James Stirling (also known as London Fitness Guy) and personal trainer Jamie Hartnoll.
As London Fitness Guy says, “While the workout itself will burn calories and improve your fitness, it should be incorporated into the workplace alongside a general ‘health and fitness’ initiative to increase activity levels of employees throughout the day.”
The workout was commissioned by Currys PC World and Fitbit, who teamed up to help bring more movement to your working day. The quick and easy workout includes five high-intensity exercises that only use a desk and a chair – no special equipment required.
The ultimate 20-minute office workout
The simple yet effective workout consists of desk press-ups, chair lunges, triceps dips, calf raises and shoulder presses. The workout is designed to:
- Target as many muscle groups as possible
- Be easy to do, whatever your fitness level, with minimal equipment
- Take only 20 minutes to complete
- Make a real difference to your health and wellbeing
Click here to get the full exercises, along with illustrations.
Five volunteers of varying fitness levels tested the workout to find out if it lives up to its name. The volunteers wore Fitbits so they could track their heart rate and the number of calories burned. On average, the volunteers burned 115.2 calories in one 20-minute workout. This is approximately equivalent to 25g of salted popcorn, 11 roasted peanuts or a Grande Starbucks Cappuccino.
Do this workout consistently over a week, and you could burn an average of 576 calories. If you can do the workout everyday over the course of a working year, you could burn a whopping 27,000 calories. That’s the equivalent of 50 tuna mayo and cucumber baguettes from Pret A Manger, 77 bacon rolls or 32 KitKat bars.
The Fitbit trackers also helped monitor the volunteers’ heart rate before, during and after the exercises. The volunteers’ heart rates rose to an average of 111.72 beats per minute (bpm) during the exercise – an increase of 83.5% from their resting heart rates. The volunteers’ resting heart rate during the week of testing was an average of 61.4 bpm. As Bogdan, one of the volunteers, observed, “I was pleasantly surprised to see my resting heart rate slowly decrease over the course of the week. It was 59 bpm when we started, and dropped to 51 bpm by the end of the week – a sign that my fitness level was improving.”
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