Beware the lardy lawyer

February 5, 2014

Lose those pounds the easy way with our in-office exercise regime

Image: Shutterstock


What do long hours sitting at a desk, boozy client functions, a stressful lifestyle and working lunches have in common?

One thing: the curse of the Lardy Lawyer.

Too many of us simply do not find the time to exercise regularly, and our health suffers for it. Maybe 2014 was launched with a flurry of good intentions to get fit, but in most cases these will have been displaced in a matter of days by the various demands of clients, colleagues, courts and children.

The physical problems associated with lack of exercise are well-documented: higher risks of heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure, joint problems and a general lack of energy.

Backs and necks can be particular issue, caused by too much sitting at that desk.

Finding time for exercise is also important for mental health, allowing you to let off steam and release some of the tension built up over the days and weeks of dealing with deadlines.

Treadmill humiliation

Let’s face it. Not many of us want to spend hours in a gym. If you choose one near work, you risk being humiliated by youthful trainees on the treadmill.

Even worse, you might find that over-sized senior partner stripped down to her thong in the changing rooms.

You could go running from the office at lunchtime, but jogging past colleagues on their way back from Pret makes you look like a tw*t, and won’t win you many friends.

Fear not. There are ways to improve your health without even leaving your office. Just a few simple changes to your routine can increase your flexibility and help burn extra calories.

The following are some suggestions to help you get active without needing to face the grim weather outside:

  1. Stand up when you talk on the telephone.
  2. Stand up every time someone comes to talk to you. (If you share an office, expect (1) and (2) to irritate your colleagues.  Point out that you will be the one who loses the lard.)
  3. Whenever you stand up or sit down, do so by just using one leg. This will take a bit of practice but is great for working your bottom.
  4. Put your telephone just out of reach, meaning you have to stretch for it every time it rings.  Do the same with your cup of tea, water or Valium.
  5. Ban yourself from emailing colleagues in the same building. Instead, go retro and go to see them in person.
  6. If you work in a particularly liberal workplace, you could replace your chair with a Swiss ball. Even just sitting on a Swiss ball works your core muscles, toning you up without realising it.
  7. There is a rumour that one of the largest City firms will provide associates with a stand-up desk on request – wacky indeed.
  8. Need the loo?  Answer calls of nature by using the facilities on a different floor, taking the stairs to get there.
  9. In fact, forget the lift altogether and always take the stairs – two at a time if you can manage it. Time yourself and aim to break your personal best each week.
  10. Drive to work? Park further away.
  11. Take the bus, tube or train to work? Get off a stop or two early and walk.
  12. Cycle to work?  Why are you reading this list?  Go to the pub.
  13. Take regular breaks.  Walk to the photocopier, go and make a cup of tea or simply do a lap of the office – anything to get out of the chair and get the blood flowing.
  14. Try and spend no more than an hour sat in the same position, even when in the middle of some particularly scintillating drafting.

Above all, take a look at your daily routine and identify those moments when you could increase your activity levels. Each opportunity for movement is a chance to keep your body and mind in shape, so grasp them, get fitter and feel better.

Before long, you’ll be taking on those trainees at the gym. LM

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