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Let’s bust some myths about health and exercise

WK2-3 Myths

Exercising during office hours is just as effective as intense work-out sessions after work. Right? There are plenty of myths and truths concerning health and exercise in the office. If what is said can be trusted, too much coffee drinking both can lead to and prevents weight loss. So, what is the truth?


  1. If I exercise after work it doesn’t matter that If sit down all day

    FALSE. You cannot compensate the time you spend sitting down during work by working out with high intensity. Sitting for hours at a time at work still has harmful consequences that later exercise doesn’t make up for. Eight hours of sitting down every day can lead to obesity, diabetes type 2, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

    Make sure to vary between sitting and standing position at work, takin active breaks throughout the day. The smallest things can make a lot of difference, such as walking to the photocopier, getting a cup of coffee or walk up to your colleague to talk instead of communicating via e-mail. Another option could be walking on a desk treadmill for a while or use a desk bike while you work. It will improve your blood circulation and controls the blood sugar levels.
  2. Low intensity exercise burns more calories than high intensity

    FALSE. A long and low intensity work out has the same result as short and intense work out sessions, according to Mikael Mattson, Sports physiologists at the University of Gymnastics and Sports in Stockholm. Short and high intensity work outs use up a lot of energy during but also after the work out. Therefore, it is not a matter of how many calories you burn during the work out session, but what you burn the rest of the day.

    It can be very difficult to fit in exercise during your working day. However, consider exercising discretely at work. We don’t mean that you should sneak away to the gym in the middle of the day but there is an abundance of exercises you can perform while sitting at your desk. For example, try holding your legs up parallel to the floor for 1 minute and feel the different it makes for the muscles in your legs. It’s better to work out less intense like this when you need to save your energy for the afternoon.
  3. 5 minutes of exercise doesn’t make a difference

    FALSE. You should get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day but that can of course be difficult with other responsibilities such as work, pick up the children form school, cooking and running other errands. But even a few minutes of exercise do more than none. If possible, you can simply do a few squats or quick push-ups in the office during a break or when you come home. Or why not run a few extra times up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator? Five minutes have a bigger impact than you think!

    It’s better to get a proper work out even if it’s a very short one, so don’t worry if you start to sweat. When you fully exercise, your muscles will believe that they need to perform a physically demanding activity and your body starts to burn more energy. This has positive effects on health, such as increased oxygen intake, decreased level of lipids and improved insulin sensitivity. Don’t forget that everyone is different, what is the right form of exercise for other people doesn’t have to be right for you. Try out what has a positive effect on your body and your wellbeing.
  4. Caffeine can lead to weight loss

    FALSE. Caffeine has no scientific cause-and-effect relation to increased weight loss. It increases the metabolism but not by much and therefore has no proven long term effect on your weight. On the other hand, caffeine gives you more energy so you might be more active throughout the day. Also, is the coffee machine is further away and drink a lot of coffee every day you get more exercise by walking back and forth.