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Office Fitness, is there such a thing? 

Sometimes I get asked to write a piece on a topic that I struggle with, it’s not that I struggle with what to write it’s more the the topic itself. Recently I got asked to write about one of those topics, office fitness. 

Why would I struggle to write about office fitness? I don’t think 99% of people who work in offices would ever do exercise within the working environment. To me there is nothing worse than seeing a youtube clip of a trainer showing you how you can use you office desk as a tool for a great workout. Sure, some people may sometimes get a few tricep dips in at lunch time but I can’t ever see a workplace where people stop at 10am and everyone does max press ups off the printer. 

Maybe I need to define what office fitness is in a different way? When we think of the physical self and look at how office spaces are designed we see that there are going to be big problems for the body long term due to the what the objective of office design is: to make you productive at working for long periods of time. Maybe the better definition of office fitness could be: How to protect your body from the pitfalls of office design. 

This question leads us down a path where we look at habits that are causing damage to our body in the office. An example would be sitting with bad posture for long periods of time. This is a massive problem for so many people, ask any physio about how much damage this is doing to peoples backs. 

If you recognise that sitting with bad posture for long periods can create major problems for your back you can try to create change to avoid this. You could ask your employer to invest in a posture friendly quality chair that helps with your position, put a ‘posture sticker’ on your computer screen that would remind you to brace your core every time you see it, set alarms on your phone every hour that reminds you to get out of your seat to walk around for a minute or so to move. 

This is only one example of many that could help you look after your body more in an environment that is working against it. Take the time to have a look at what your workplace is doing to your body and implement a plan that protects it. Your body will thank you for it. 


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Reader Comments (2)

I have experienced that myself, when i used to work in an office......which is why i changed jobs to a more physical one...

January 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSelling the benefits

I've actually had a positive influence in my office around fitness. I schedule in my diary most days time to go to the gym (which I'm lucky is literally around the corner from work, and work is pretty flexible about me taking a full hour to head to the gym). Since going to the gym in my lunch break, one of the girls in my team decided to join the same gym and also go at lunch. Another girl in my team then decided to do the same. People soon started to notice that the three of us head to the gym and now there are four of us who go together every Thursday and do a circuit together. The other days of the week, some of us do our own thing or do classes together, depends on our workload and preferences.

So it is possible to get fitness in a work environment ;)

February 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRee

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