Secretarial The Temp: Filing for a perfect body

THE GOVERNMENT is concerned about obesity in the population and our general level of unfitness. This is, of course, directly related to the amount of television we each of us consume in a week, but, as the entire advertising industry depends on television and people watching it, and the entire Government depends on the advertising industry, it has been deemed appropriate to refer to this factor as "increasingly sedentary lifestyles".

Thus our office-bound lives are being blamed for our ills and, unless we can turn things round, we are in increasing danger of being like the Chinese, forced to take part in compulsory dawn robotics in paved-over open spaces.

But wait! Before you waste hundreds of pounds on membership of a gym that you will attend five times in the first week, then pull something, have to spend three weeks recuperating and somehow never find the time to go again, look at the exercise opportunities about you! While it's possible to pass an entire day at work without doing more than walk to and from the lift, your office can be your own home gym opportunity. For your health and that of the nation, we present the Temporary Guide to Office Gymnastics:

File, but inefficiently. Place all papers on the floor, close drawers after each paper has found its home. And bend and lift! And bend and lift!

Remember that it is essential to drink at least two litres of water a day. By doing so with only the help of tiny paper cones, you can add almost a quarter of a mile to your daily walking schedule simply going from desk to water cooler.

Shouting at underlings is excellent aerobic exercise.

Run everywhere. This has the added advantage of making you look important.

Do your own photocopying. Clearing paper jams is terrific for thigh and bum muscles; swearing forcibly every time a light comes on exercises lung-power; when things are going right, you can practise the ancient t'ai-chi exercise of Standing Still Staring Into Space while Drumming Fingers.

Encourage an office policy of meanness with stationery. Allow the key to the stationery stores to only one person, preferably the one who has to be away from their desk most often. Searching in your own and afterwards your colleagues' bottom drawers for Post-It notes, pencils, compliments slips etc stretches back muscles, thigh muscles and arm muscles and acts as an excellent warm-up for going in search of the stationery supervisor.

Remember: thinking burns calories. If your day-to-day tasks don't require thinking, take it up. You'll be svelte in no time.

Tummy tucks: get under your desk to fiddle with wiring to computer, telephone, fax, modem, lighting, etc. Lie on back, feet flat on the ground, knees in the air. And up!

Institute a smoking ban. Then take up smoking in order to afford yourself the opportunity to take a walk down to the front steps every hour on the hour. This is a particularly effective exercise, as not only does it also allow you to catch up on gossip/ network with your superiors, but it is an ideal opportunity to get a breath of fresh air.

Several hours playing Solitaire/Minesweeper/Tetris on screen each day builds strength in index finger and thumb.

Volunteer to take responsibility for watering the office plants. Walking about the place with a watering-can is excellent low-impact muscle-building.

Have an affair. That time spent locked around each other in cramped environments such as the stationery cupboard will help you maintain flexibility in your joints.

Pen-chewing builds a sturdy jaw.

Try this change of position every 10 minutes: feet-on-desk, feet-off- desk; if performed with straight legs at all times, this will tighten those tummy muscles and give you a six-pack like Vulcan in Gladiators.

Swivelling in chairs is good for your balance. If your chair has arms, raise yourself from the seat using them from time to time; relieves aching backs. Exercise calf muscles by walking to your colleague's desk without removing your bum from your seat.

Commute by public transport during rush-hour. Standing up in a moving, confined space for an hour or more at a go is the equivalent of a full week with electrodes strapped to your abs.

If all else fails, neglect to meet your deadlines. You will spend so much time running away from your boss, you'll burn off an extra Mars bar every afternoon.

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test