Surprise, surprise… sitting at your desk for too long is bad (here is what the UK National Health Service says about it).

After a busy week of Rapid Application Delivery for a prospective client, a couple of days ago I was v-introduced to Val Benfield (Fitness Instructor and Advocate for Lifestyle Medicine) by business mentor extraordinaire Charles McLachlan.

Thankfully, technology allows us to work from home almost as effectively as in Canary Wharf but interaction between co-workers needs more deliberate action.

So, after Pizza MeetingPets GalleryQuiz Night, and as the weight for most of us seems to be creeping up, fitness & health seems like a good next step.

In truth, we had already explored fitness at the very beginning of the lockdown; we had concluded that sweaty workouts were perhaps a bit too personal and well covered by apps and gyms gone virtual.

My first chat with Val helped to think more about the health aspects, so we agreed to move forward with two kinds of sessions:

  • A set of interactive zoom calls on Deskercise, so that we can all learn ways to heed the NHS advice – something valuable both in our home setting and, in future, in the office;
  • A weekly, optional, 30′-bootcamp focused not so much on winning the Olympics but on having a bit of fun together, augmented by tailored nutritional advice.

Hang on …need to go Deskercising!

OK, I am back after the first Deskercise training session… 30 minutes do not transform you from couch potato to deskathlete but are enough to sew the seeds for re-thinking some habits.

In my case, I am an inveterate sloucher and now I am suddenly sitting at a 90-degree angle (I can almost feel you doing the same right now).

We learned a few stress-reducing moves and stretches – mostly sitting on a chair – no doubt more structured and effective than the occasional stroll.

I can see the benefit of doing some of these exercises every couple of hours and, having taken part in a group session, I believe we have lowered the “shame barrier” for keeping this going back in the office.

This is clearly a win-win initiative which, on one hand, will help promote well-being in the company and, on the other, embrace the services of a Health & Fitness professional during this unprecedented crisis.

Stay safe, stay fit, stay well!