If, like almost half the working women in London (46%), you have an office job, it’s likely you’re reading this article sat hunched over your PC or Mac, and spend your day aching with stiff, strained muscles. And you could also be unwillingly putting yourself at risk of a range of health problems… according to the British Heart Foundation, lack of exercise and movement can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart and circulatory disease and general poor health. But how are we supposed to keep fit when we’re chained to our desks eight hours a day, five days a week? Well how about a desk-based workout that only takes 20 minutes to do? It’s definitely food (apples, not cake of course) for thought…
We consulted trainer James Stirling (also known as London Fitness Guy) on simple ways to help bring more movement to your working day. James came up with a quick and easy workout that includes five high-intensity exercises that only use a desk and a chair. And here we have the ultimate 20-minute office workout – a 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
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 and on average, they burned 115.2 calories in one 20-minute workout – the rough equivalent to 25g of salted popcorn, 11 roasted peanuts or a Grande Starbucks Cappuccino!
So, if you did this workout consistently over a week, you could burn around 560 calories, and if you did it every day over the course of a working year, that would be 27,000 calories! That’s the equivalent of 50 tuna mayo and cucumber baguettes from Pret, 77 bacon rolls, or 32 KitKat bars. Mmmmm, KitKats….
But back to the science – The Fitbit trackers also monitored the testers’ heart rate before, during and after the exercises. This rose to an average of 111.72 beats per minute (bpm) during the exercise – an increase of 83.5% from their resting heart rates, which was around 61.4 bpm. Bogdan, one of the volunteers, told Belle About Town: “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.”
So while you may not relish the idea of working up a sweat while Anthony from Accounts watches on, hurriedly tucking into his third Big Mac of the week, it might be well be more than worth your while.
- James – London Fitness Guy – has teamed up with Currys PC World and Fitbit to create the ultimate 20 minute office workout. Find out more here.