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Starting a fitness break at work

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 10, 2012 23:17 IST
Highlight Story

Vicky Hallett reports on how far she has come. Can you see yourself trying something similar?

1. Get the boss on board: Express editor Dan Cacavarro twisted and punched along with Denise Austin but hasn't joined in on our daily routine. It's nice to have his permission, but it'd be even better to have his participation.

2. Survey co-workers: My survey turned up some conflicts. (“I really want to dance.” “Anything but dance.") But everyone seemed to agree that midafternoon was when the break was most needed, which is how we settled on 3. I've also learned you can't completely trust people's responses. The answers helped get the program started, but the better data is coming from watching what people are actually doing.
3. Recruit a team: Copy chief Aimee Goodwin rounds up the troops in the newsroom and runs recess when I'm not in the office. But I would like to recruit a guy to take a leadership role and help make the activities coed. (This is a common problem in other similar programs.)
4. Start small: One of the reasons plank o'clock has been so successful is that you can do it in almost any outfit, and it's scalable. Some people can't hold the pose for the entire 60 seconds yet. But everyone can join in.
5. But think big: I wanted a showy kickoff, and Denise Austin definitely delivered. Now I wonder how to generate that kind of excitement again and keep the program fresh. We're off to a strong start, but we also have to keep moving forward.

Get the office moving
Hourly minute of movement: Each hour, everyone in the office stops working to stretch arms overhead, lean side to side, twist at the waist, kick and punch.

Group activity: Establish a break at the same time every day when everyone does the warm-up segment of a workout DVD, goes for a walk or dances to music.

Stand and deliver: Borrow a challenge from the Motley Fool and have everyone stand every time they answer or make a phone call, or write or receive an e-mail.

A workout at work?
The Post’s infographics department tested 12 exercises to see which ones real people could incorporate into a workday. At washingtonpost.com/wellness, see how to do each of these exercises.


In exclusive partnership with The Washington Post