exercising with your suit on

April 26, 2010

in wellness

exercises to do with your suit on_

greg matthews, my friend and cohealth partner, wrote a right-on-the-money article about micro-obstacles, those little things that get in the way of being healthy. for him, a biggie is having to wear a suit to work every day. T magazine has come to his—and others’—rescue, paying stylish tribute to the reprinted book, exercises for gentleman.

while the photo shoot and this thin book will be taken seriously by only fashionistas and bathroom humorists, both are onto something. namely, moving more at work without the financial and logistical hurdles (for company and individual alike) of on-site gyms.

if you question why moving more at work is important, think of the times when moving would have helped you focus, boosted your creativity, or restored your tolerance. then, consider how movement helps prepare the body for a task, particularly important for those whose job requires lifting and bending. finally, acknowledge how hard it is to fit in exercise at all and how grateful you’d be to knock out a few fitness minutes during the workday.

at some point, companies need to make it permissible and possible to move more at work, whether it’s pre-shift stretching, taking meetings to a treadmill, work+life flexibility—or even doing some deep knee bends in a suit. they also need to make movement so enticing that employees want to do it. a client of mine and i are toying with how we can use facebook’s tagging functionality to inspire daily bursts of movement and competitive one-upmanship, something i’m eager to test.

what do you think? do we need more movement at work? what blocks it and what would make it possible?


Leave a Comment

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

erica April 26, 2010 at 10:04 am

In my opinion, it’s the work life flexibility that is key. I just don’t see exercise at work happening anytime soon. But leaving a bit early to hit the gym, and then picking up some more work from home, with no stigma attached to it, that seems more in the realm of possibility. But if the stigma of being attached to the desk is too ingrained in the work atmosphere, it’s more difficult.


fran April 26, 2010 at 10:27 am

erica, i agree that work+life flex is a key ingredient. it’s how we make that work for people whose job doesn’t allow for picking up more work from home that’s the toughie. how can we transform work so that pickup basketball games, lunchtime walks, and other exercise bursts are part of the norm?



Greg Matthews April 26, 2010 at 10:47 am

Yes! I love it that more and more people are starting to think about movement in the office … and I like the fact that this book (whether tongue-in-cheek or not) is actually about EMBRACING a micro-obstacle rather than ELIMINATING it. Elimination of obstacles is preferable, but not always possible. In the meantime, you can always get up and move (http://getupandmove.me) or move your CONFERENCE CALLS to the treadmill! (http://crumpleitup.com/b/2009/05/dr-strangefit-or-how-i-learned-stop-worrying-and-love-conference-calls/)
Thanks for sharing, Fran.


fran April 26, 2010 at 10:54 am

greg, be sure to check out the article about meetings on a treadmill in my post. it’s this great story about different companies’ “walking conference rooms.” have you heard anything about this trekdesk? http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10375369-1.html


Paul Smith April 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm

There should be little dance breaks at work. Seriously, wouldn’t it be cool if at say 10 & 2, everyone stops work for just 5 minutes, blast Lady Gaga over the company intercom & just do a little jig or shuffle? You could still have your meeting at 10 & 2> but now it’s more engaging & interesting.
The roadblock is if it does not look like work, it’s not work. Papers spread all over a desk in a haphazard way resemble work more than a hip sway.


fran April 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

i love it! can you imagine, paparazzi blasting over the loudspeaker or maybe in lieu of that CEO voicemail recording?

“if it does not look like work, it’s not work” — you nailed it. and even rhymed with your following description. nice!



pharmacy technician May 1, 2010 at 11:13 pm

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