Rise of the run-ch break: How workers are swapping suits for jogging gear and exercising at lunch
More than two million British workers now exercise during their lunch break, according to a new study.
Researchers found around one in 13 employees now swap their suits for jogging gear and pound the streets while their colleagues relax and eat.
And, over the course of the year, fitness-craving staff clock up an average of 468 miles while away from their desks.
Working out at work: One in 13 employees jog during their lunch break
Most are likely to run three miles, three times a week.
Although many workers jog, even more cram in a gym session or go swimming.
In all, a fifth of employees are thought to do some form of exercise during their lunch breaks.
TOP FIVE FITNESS TIPS
They are many frequently asked questions regarding keeping fit, so here are the fitness tips we all need to know:
SHOULD YOU EAT BEFORE WORKING OUT
Experts advise not to exercise on an empty stomach, although too much food can lead to cramps. A light, carbohydrate meal, such as a baked potato or pasta, eaten two to three hours before exercise starts is suggested.
SHOULD I EXERCISE WITH A COLD
There is evidence that raising your heart rate through physical exertion when you have a virus or cold can cause serious harm. Relaxing will help you recover more quickly.
WHAT CAUSES A STITCH AND HOW DO I GET RID OF IT
Experts are unsure about precisely what causes stitch. But it appears to occur most commonly in people who exercise too soon after a meal or take an inappropriate drink or food while they are on the move.
Leaving a longer gap between eating and running is advised. But if it does happen, experts suggest bending forwards (pictured above) or twisting your trunk gently. This will ease the pain and strengthen your abdominal muscles, reducing the chances of it happening again
WHAT'S BEST – RUNNING OR WALKING
In fact, you can burn the same number of calories – about 100 per mile – whether you run or walk. But it takes at least double the time to burn the same total if you walk.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO STRETCH A MUSCLE
Experts say don't bounce when you touch your toes but reach slowly down and hold the stretch for ten to 20 seconds. For best results, do no more than four repetitions of each stretch.
The study, by technical sportswear brand Helly Hansen, surveyed 1,500 Britons who work out during their nine-to-five day.
A spokesman for the firm said: ‘There is a definite trend of the nation's workforce heading out on their lunch break and working up a sweat.
‘Hectic lifestyles or feeling too worn out at the end of an arduous day in the office means the only real option is to incorporate exercise into the day.
‘It's all too easy to stay slumped in your chair and not move during your lunch break, but those who venture outside work return to their desk feeling reinvigorated and ready to crack on with their workload.
‘Therefore it's good for our health and good for business.
‘But we often find that customers are put off exercising during their lunch break because they worry about getting hot and sweaty before having to return to their desks feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed by their appearance.’
As well as running millions of Britons also fit in spin classes, power walks and even personal trainer sessions rather than eat their lunch at their desk.
Men were most likely go for a run during their lunch hour while women were more likely to do a diverse range of different activities from aerobics to Pilates.
Most said it was the only chance they had to fit exercise in to their busy lives but admitted they were conscious of making sure they looked good while breaking in to a sweat in case they bumped in to colleagues.
As a result they spent an average of 105.25 a year keeping their kit up to date and making sure they had the right balance between looking good and working out in clothes that enhanced their performance.
More than half said they felt they performed better at work after burning calories in their lunch hour and that they thought it gave a good impression to their boss that they looked after their health and fitness.
While most exercised on their own nearly one in ten works out with a friend.
Among those who exercised in their lunch break, a quarter said they often take more than the hour they are supposed to while nearly half don't bother to shower afterwards.
The Helly Hansen spokesman added: ‘In the current economic client, we have seen a trend of people swapping their expensive gym memberships in favour of outdoor activity, so it's great to see that so many people are still determined to dedicate time to their physical wellbeing.’