Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


The work-day workout

24 July 2012, 09:33

 With the three-martini lunch gone the way of the typewriter, office workers are free to discover the healthier perks of midday movement. An active lunchtime can range from the sweaty to the serene, experts say, from a full-out cardio blast to a walk in the park.

"People who want to get in a good workout over lunch hour can do simple things like go for a walk," said Dr Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise.

"Think about it. Thirty minutes on a regular basis would meet the minimum threshold for physical activity," he added.

Ideas for working out at work

US government guidelines state that adults 18 and older need 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days a week to be healthy. For an intense workout on a rainy day, Bryant suggests finding a quiet stairwell and performing a series of lunges, dips, push-ups, alternating quick and slow climbs, or taking the stairs two at a time.

"You can do a mix of cardio, interval and resistance training using the stairs," he explained.

How intense should your midday workout be? For many, perspiration is the dividing line.

"Sweating is a huge obstacle for most people," said Bryant, "but just sitting at the computer compromises posture and has health consequences."

As author of "Walking Deck: 50 Ways to Walk Yourself Healthy," Florida-based fitness expert Shirley Archer has helped workers to organize lunchtime walking groups. "If you haven't had a chance to pace out the walks in advance, simply walk 12-15 minutes and then turn around and re-trace your steps," Archer said. "You will be back in time."

Elasticised exercise bands or tubing can add toning moves to a walk, she said, adding that intervals, circuits and hills would also add variety.

"Keep a water bottle and pair of walking shoes in your desk at all times," she recommends. "Do not take these home."

Fitting in lunchtime workouts

If cardio needs are met outside the office, lunchtime might be better spent in strength and toning exercises, she said. Archer also suggested trying to cultivate mindfulness and deep breathing. "More meditative-style movements can be a refreshing mid-day break from office stress," Archer said.

For people with a gym membership, the 30-minute treadmill run is a popular option, according to California-based trainer Amy Dixon, who added that many gyms tailor short fitness classes to the lunch crowd.

"You have to prepare for a quick and dirty workout in the middle of the day." said Dixon, creator of the "Give Me 10" and "Breathless Body" fitness DVDs.

"For women, you want waterproof mascara, cool towels, a change of clothes, and something to keep your hair off of your face."

For people who prefer not to sweat Dixon said they should consider flexibility exercises. "Use that time to do stretches and rotations," she said, "or do core work that's not as intense as your cardio workout."

Dr Nicolaas Pronk, an expert on workplace wellness with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), said often workers' lunch time is more limited than 30 minutes. He recommends workers first focus on reducing prolonged periods of sitting with 10-minute breaks throughout the day.

"Sometimes these are called instant recess or booster breaks," said Pronk, vice president of Health Partners Research Foundation in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Changes in office design, such as sit-stand desks, could help workers without altering the work flow, as well as using stairs. "In the workplace setting, it may be most important to ensure that people do not sit for prolonged periods of time first, then to stimulate overall increases in physical activity," Pronk said.

Bryant said another side benefit of the lunchtime workout is the brown bag. "Odds are you'll probably be eating better because you won't be going out to lunch," he said.

- Reuters

Tags exercise

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...