Why ditching your desk at lunchtime is a no-brainer

In Partnership with Red Bull

Here’s why a lunchtime desk-vacay should be top of your to-do list…

It can be all too easy to work through lunch, catching up on endless admin while scoffing last night’s spaghetti bolognaise. (Is it us, or does it always taste better next day?). But being deskbound 9-to-5 is a pretty bad idea. It can have a negative impact on not just your body, but also your mental health, with a sedentary working life being linked to depression, increased stress levels and the classic ‘mid afternoon slump’ that goes hand in hand with being a professional desk jockey. That is why our pals at Red Bull are urging everyone to go AWOL .

The AWOL – or in other words, to get Active When On Lunch campaign not only encourages you to get up and out from under your desk and move around but offers tips and 15 minute workouts that can be completed anywhere, all you need is yourself and a little motivation- all with trainers from some of London’s top fitness boutiques, no less.

We spoke to Sanctus – a company that works to improve well being at work – to get the low-down on how not being active during the day can affect us all.

Sitting for too long is unhealthy

Sanctus recommend that we all move more. ‘Studies show excessive sitting without regular breaks can cause a host of health issues – and is even linked to an early death,’ says man-in-the-know George Bell.

Your mental health can suffer too

‘Without regular breaks, excessive sitting has also been linked to depression, stress and a negative impact on general wellbeing,’ adds George. ‘Consider a lunchtime activity like meditation to calm the mind.’

Just being outdoors counts

As George points out: ‘Lunchtime activities don’t always need to be about high-intensity workouts. Just going for a walk in the park allows you to take in fresh air and nature, get natural sunlight and stimulate blood flow.’

Banish mid-afternoon slumps

Breaking up the working day with some physical activity can also ward off those mid-afternoon crashes. ‘Generally speaking, it can increase your energy, focus, and concentration levels,’ says George. Win-win?

Be more sociable

Working your body and brain during the day can positively impacts on your evening, too. ‘As it increases energy levels, makes us feel good about ourselves and raises confidence and concentration, we can also be more present and happier when socialising.’

Feeling inspired? Sign up to get AWOL

Throughout May, Red Bull is offering a range of high quality fitness classes – from rowing to pilates; high intensity interval training (HIIT) to mobility drills – in their London HQ for those who pledge to get AWOL over their lunch hour.

Taking up residency in Red Bull’s Convent Garden HQ, the free ticketed lunchtime classes are all designed to get you out from under your desk and get your blood pumping. All AWOL classes are free to enter, but you must be signed up first as spaces are limited to 25 per session.


Book your free lunchtime session, plus get tips, inspiration and claim your complimentary can of Red Bull here


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