Fitting fitness around the 9-5
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Fitting fitness around the 9-5

29th January 2016
By Gina Kershaw

January. Best known as the month to sign up to the gym, attend twice, only to fall back into the old routine of sofa > pizza > Netflix > sleep.

It’s understandable really. As one of the coldest, darkest months of the year, it’s hard to be motivated when you’ve been working hard in the office all day.

If you’re struggling to fit a fitness regime around the nine-to-five, we’ve got the perfect solution. We challenged leading fitness and lifestyle bloggers to give us their favourite workouts that can be performed from anywhere – even the office.

Check out the routines below, and if you need more inspiration, take a look at our fantastic lunchtime yoga event, which we held in Finsbury Avenue Square.

Clémence from

For me, January is not a month of motivation. In a post-christmas cheese slumber, all I want to do is watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians on the sofa rather than drag myself up and exercise.

However, when hunched over my desk , I often feel the need to stretch to wake myself up and combat the ache of slumping over a computer.

Tree pose, or Vrksasana is a yoga pose you can do almost anywhere. You can even have a go whilst brushing your teeth, so there are no excuses! I hold the pose for about 30 seconds, breathing deeply to improve my sense of balance. Drawing your stomach in, towards your spine and lengthening your arms above your head also helps to ease tension in your back from sitting in the same position all day.

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Deimante from
Office Chair Squats

A great way to burn fat, tighten your muscles, strengthen your knee joints and improve circulation.

*Stand with your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart, your knees and hips at 90-degree angles.

*Tip your hips back and bend your knees, lowering yourself back toward the chair.

*Just after your thighs tap the chair’s seat, immediately press yourself back to standing.

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Georgia from

“As a full-time desk-dweller, it’s so easy to catch myself sitting like a misshapen rag doll, hunched over my desk Notre Dame-style wondering why my neck feels like it’s been stuffed with ball bearings. It’s no surprise either that I have sustained an upper back injury from failing to recognise my bad desk posture. Now, with my health a firm priority, I make sure to take regular breaks from the chipboard table of doom for gentle daily yoga that focuses on the upper body, neck and shoulders. The stretch that most eases my tension is incredibly straight-forward and feels absolutely awesome. Sitting cross-legged with your shoulders down and your back straight, slowly drop your head to your chest until you feel the release down your spine and in the back of your neck. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat as needed. As well as gentle yoga like this, I find that taking hot baths, going for a walk and using a hot water bottle between my back and the computer chair eases muscle tension.”

Jayd Alice from

My exercise tip is to stretch it out! Desk chairs are the most uncomfortable thing ever when you’re sat there for hours straight and when the back pain starts I like to roll out my yoga mat and stretch, stretch, stretch! My favourite pose is downward facing dog which elongates the body and stretches top to toe! 

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Laura from

I’m not saying go on a jog or visit the local gym in your lunch break, let’s be realistic here. (Although if you can, shoutout to you for being my new idol/most disciplined person in the world).  But even just walking to the shop at dinner time or doing a coffee run during the mid-afternoon slump will make you feel a gazillion times better.

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Rachel from

I found this amazing tip that I wanted to share, which is probably the desk exercise I have found the hardest to do- the office genie. Sit cross legged in your chair, and all you have to do is lift yourself up and out the chair by holding the arm rests (still cross-legged) for around 10-20 seconds. Now this is extremely difficult to maintain for such a long time and you can definitely feel the abs and the arms burning by the end. Either that or I’m a complete wuss. I chose this particular exercise to share as I found it is a particular exercise which doesn’t require a whole lot of movement, time, attention and stares from fellow colleagues and you achieve such an intense burn at the same time, making it super effective. I also found it actually gets my heart pumping pretty fast, which is fab for an exercise where you’re not really moving a whole lot. Also, if you have mastered this, then you can take it to level 2 and do this on a chair with no arm rests and push yourself up from the seat itself- believe me I actually couldn’t even hold this for longer than 2 seconds, but it’s something to strive towards. The Victoria’s Secret model body will be ours soon enough!

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Rosie from

No matter how busy my schedule is, I’ll always make time to fit in a quick 20-minute power walk after lunch – especially if I’m working from home. Not only does it build some extra cardio into my routine, it’s also great for aiding digestion and helping me overcome that mid-afternoon slump. 

I find it’s the perfect way to gain some headspace on a particularly hectic day. And in the face of writer’s block, it’s all the inspiration I need to get a blog post polished off – in fact, I’ve had several ‘Eureka!’ moments while out walking.

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Charlotte from

charlotte flexible working
I always jog up and down any stairs I stumble across at work. One of my offices has a nice flight of stairs to get up just for a cup of tea so I’m always making sure I’m running up those whenever I am parched.

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