Keeping fit in the work place just got a whole lot easier

There is a lot of literature emphasising the need for being active and involving oneself in various activities. However, not much is mentioned about being active in the office where 12 million people spend a third of their week.
With the rate of obesity increasing daily and time and financial constraints not enabling people to exercise outside of work, the question that begs to be answered is should it not be easier people to be active at their work places?
The simple answer you may think is that we’re at work to work, not to play. The two simply do not mix. But what if you could workout and work? Southampton based company, Office Fitness believe you can do both and in doing so become healthier, more energised, more productive workers. It has released a range of office-based exercise equipment designed to get the nation’s army of employees on their feet and more health aware while at their desk.
Office Fitness Director, Paul Matthews says, “Conventional attitudes towards work and life being separate are breaking down. Companies such as Google, with innovations including on-site coffee bars, roof gardens and play areas, show us how work and leisure environments are merging. We see bringing low level physical activity into the office as an extension of this but offering a dramatic step towards addressing many very serious modern health issues.
“We see sitting (actually ‘excessive sitting’) as a convention that has had its day. To some extent sitting is being regarded as the new smoking, in terms of its impact on our health. Essentially, we are creatures designed to move and our Stone Age genes do not mix with our information age lifestyles. These days we are spending more and more time in front of screens whether at work or at home. This time really needs to be conducted in a more physical manner, whether that involves sitting actively (by balancing), standing or moderately exercising. 

“Getting people standing is the start. Once we do that, the social barriers are down and more interesting workplace exercises become possible. The next stage would be introducing desk gym equipment, dumbbells that sit on your desk without rolling, mini-steppers to work and step, walking treadmills, the options are numerous. We can burn significantly more calories without breaking into a sweat, doing simple movements that equate to the level of activity of our grandparents’ generation. Look at any group picture of people in the 1950s and 60s and the striking feature is how slim we were back then. The difference today is the leaching away of activity in every aspect of our lives. Our range of office exercise equipment brings some of that activity back.
“Companies can do a lot in this regard and with legislation against excessive sitting looming it’s in most organisations’ interest to become more aware of the possibilities. We believe the positive reasons for adopting something like our WorkFit programme should be enough: reduced absenteeism, increased morale, brighter, more engaged staff are all benefits to be gained by such a scheme. Ideally, we’d like to see offices becoming more fun instead of the rather dull environments that they are currently.”
In the next few months Office Fitness will be releasing software to accompany the product range, providing desktop reminders to exercise along with activity recording and goal setting. Future plans include WorkFit Live – a link up with PT instructors to do group based exercise in bite size chunks throughout the day – but at your desk.
“Given the current corporate environment, thoughts of such an idea may be extreme for some but we are advocating an activity break for 5 minutes in every hour which is in line with NHS guidelines. In the real world most of us break for this sort of period anyway. Rather than heading off to the vending machine to satisfy the body’s need for stimulus, we suggest a programme of structured micro-workouts specific for office workers. The lost 5 minutes of work will be more than regained in the following energy boosted 55 minutes.
“I think we are just at the start of what could be a sea change in office culture. Future generations will look back on our current way of all day sitting at work with incredulity once the full facts of the sitting disease become more evident.”
For more information about the range of equipment and advice available at Office Fitness visit