The Importance of Regular Exercise
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
Many of us are less aware of the impact boosting our activity
levels can have to our overall health. Research from Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge highlights the importance of
regular, daily exercise. The study collected information
from 22,000 men and women aged 40 to 79 in 1993, and then again
Participants in the study who were defined as active, those
who did at least an hour of physical exercise daily or had a
heavy manual or physical job, were around a third less likely to
have died of all causes than those who had sedentary jobs and
did no exercise in their free time.
How much exercise should we do in a day?
- If your job is office-based you should aim for one extra
hour of exercise each day.
- If your job means you stand a lot or move around in a
relatively small space, such as hairdressers, shop assistants
or security guards, you should take an extra 30 minutes of
exercise a day.
- If your job is very active, such as plumbers, cleaners or
construction workers, you’re probably already doing enough
exercise at work.
- Remember too, that you don’t need to do all that extra
activity in one go – or start off with a whole hour. Begin
with just 10 minutes a day and build up from there – after all
some activity is better than none.
Exercise at Work
Follow these office exercise tips to lead a more active life:
- Pull on your trainers and energise your mind and body at
lunchtime with a brisk 30 minute power walk – you’ll burn 140
calories and can still pick up a low-cal sandwich on the way
round. In a year you’ll lose up to 9lb!
- Take a 45-minute stroll round the shops in your lunch
break and burn 130 calories. It’s a great way to get some of
those chores done like going to the bank or chemist or
treating yourself to new clothes – and you’ll wave goodbye to
around 8lb in a year.
- Deliver internal messages in person rather than using
e-mail or the phone. It can quickly add up to an extra 10
minutes of walking a day – enough to burn an extra 30 calories
a day. It might not sound much but it’s an extra 2lb in a year
for very little effort – and possibly some great office
- Use the stairs as often a possible. Just going up and down
an average flight of stairs 10 times a day can burn up to 75
calories a day – that’s equal to burning off almost 5lb of
pure body fat every year!
- Don’t let your work pile up on the printer. Take a trip to
the machine every time you’ve printed a document. Just 5 trips
a day amounts to an extra 30 calories – or 2lb a year.
- Go to the post room yourself when there’s a delivery for
you rather than asking someone else to do it. A daily trip can
shift an extra 30 calories or 2lb in a year.
- Get together with colleagues after work for a night on the
town. Turn into disco divas on the dance floor and lose a
massive 380 calories per hour. That’s 4lb a year for a weekly
boogie – providing you stick to ‘diet’ drinks rather than