The Power Hour Workout: Who Says Working Can’t Be Sweaty?

Many times people have decided to squeeze the most physical activity out of their workday, with little success. Their failure typically stems from the fact that our work environments aren’t built for the easy movement required in a solid aerobic workout. Not to mention the fact that we look rather silly as well (see above video).

No, it’s rather difficult to get a proper workout at the office. But if you work at home, there is a chance that you can still get a little bit of a sweat moving while you’re at work. Fortunately, us home-bound workers have the added benefit of not having co-workers stare at us as we stumble awkwardly about the place in search of a way to get the ‘ol heart rate up. So let’s use that seclusion to our favor and stumble around awkwardly in the privacy of our own home! I give you…. The Power Hour.


Let’s Get Physical, Physical

The Power Hour is based upon the fact that if we take more breaks, we’ll get more done at work. The Power Hour relies on the extra free time you’ve cleared up by taking more frequent breaks throughout the day. So in order to ensure we won’t miss these breaks, you need to have a timer. Any kitchen timer will do, or if you’re bound to your computer, Windows users can try Workrave, and Mac users can try AntiRSI. Both of these programs simply pop-up in configured intervals to let you know that it’s time to take a break. (These are especially beneficial for avoiding RSI as well.) Once you’ve got your timer, we can start the workout.

Set your timer to give you a break every 5 minutes of work, for 30-60 seconds. During these seemingly innocent little breaks, you’ll be doing quick bursts of physical activities. I’d recommend these for starters:

  • Situps
  • Pushups
  • Jumping jacks (does anyone still do these??!!)
  • Running in place
  • … and any other somewhat strenuous activity you can think of.

Every 5 minutes you’ll hear the timer, get up out of your chair and start doing these exercises. When you’ve hit the 50 minute mark, take a 10 minute break (like you should be doing every hour anyway. We ARE all doing are 10 minute breaks, aren’t we?). I’ve never tried more than an hour of this routine, but I’m sure the overachiever could make a full day out of this somehow.

Here’s what my typical Power Hour looks like: a variation of sit-ups, crunches, and push-ups throughout the hour. I typically run later in the day, so I’ve found it’s a nice way to wake my lazy keyster up.

I know the doubters will just pass this off as a shoddy replacement for real exercise. Well, they’re right. It IS a shoddy replacement for a quality workout. The Power Hour is really just a subtle change in your work routine. But sometimes that’s all we need to push us into a slightly healthier lifestyle. Major life changes typically don’t happen overnight; they’re a consequence of many little changes over time.

The Power Hour does a great job of breaking up the monotony of the day. Variety is the spice of life work, and adding a little sweat could be just the trick to your dull days, as well as a active slightly more active lifestyle.

Leave a Comment

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • StereoID November 3, 2009, 10:12 am

    If you want great result, you should combine steroids with a 30 minutes workout each day. I mean, it ain't that much and in about 40 days, you are going to look very “arnoldish”:)) It's a joke, but not very far from the truth.
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  • Stuart June 26, 2007, 1:43 pm

    A little exercise is also the perfect way to get the creative juices flowing, more on that here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20060518-000001.html

    I recently started exercising every day and I’ve definitely noticed some improvements in my work in general, but my creativity especially.

  • Fitness Destinations June 26, 2007, 5:04 am

    As the old saying goes, any exercise is better than NO exercise! :)

    However, as with a more standard higher quality workout, a key to getting benefit from the Power Hour would be consistency.

    If you do it every day, you’ll get the most out of it. Plus, this type of plan has the added benefit of constant mental stimulation during the workday.

    Even a “normal” workout accomplish that as often! :)