Office smoke breaks debate

The debate over office smoke breaks is reaching new heights in the UK, with local authorities thinking of banning smoking breaks for people while they are at work.

The argument comes mainly from non smokers in the workplace who resent the time taken off by colleagues who like a fag.


With the average smoke break taking 6 minutes, and the average smoker taking 5 – 10 breaks a day, the time all adds up.

An extra lunch hour: that’s not fair!

Healthy non-smokers feel the nicotine addicts are, in effect, getting an extra lunch hour, spread out over the working day.

And heaven forbid you work in an office block and have to make your way outside for a smoke break. Depending where you are, that could take your free time up to two hours a day!

We could argue about this for days, but in the meantime, how about declaring yourself a fitness addict and, every time the smoke break team head for the elevator, you take the time to enhance your fitness with a fit-break?

You could do it right there at your desk, or in the hallway, and the company would commend you for being healthy and ready for work… maybe!

Get ready for the smoke-break fitness intervention!

We’ve got around 6 minutes, so let’s go.

Kick your shoes off and change to your trainers, if you have brought them to the office with you. And if you haven’t, please start doing so! If you have a full workout change of clothes in that bag, change if you have time, but it’s not essential for this workout.


Quick warm up: start with some light marching on the spot and build to a gentle jog, just enough to get your blood flowing and your heart rate up.


Hit the floor for a quick plank. Position yourself on your elbows and the balls of your feet with your spine straight and your bottom level. Keep those hips from sagging and tighten those abs. Hold for a minute, don’t worry, outside that lot will just be lighting up!

office workout_2


Stay in position, but pull yourself onto the palms of your hands for a minute of mountain climbers. Cross your right knee over to your left elbow and alternate. Keep the pace steady, not too fast, don’t compromise your technique for speed, don’t worry, they will just be getting started outside.


Quick, up to your feet. We have time to really strengthen our core with a Lift Off balance pose. Stand on one foot, then hinge yourself forward, raising your other leg behind you until you are in a horizontal position. Outstretch your arms like Superman and hold for 30 seconds on each leg.

This great pose will help your balance, while working your quads, hamstrings, shoulder back and abs. While they are puffing away outside, you are puffing away inside!


They must be on the way back up now, so let’s finish this off before they get here.

One minute to do the Walking Plank. Stand with feet together, tighten your core, then lean forward placing both hands on the floor and walk your arms out into a plank position; hold for a few seconds, then walk back in the way and return to a standing position. Repeat as many times as you can in the last minute.

You deserve a pay rise for this revolution!

You have completed the workout, so change back into your boring office shoes and resume your position at your desk. Blame the red face and increased heart rate on the stress that the smokers have put you under by taking so much time off work, going for constant cigarette breaks.

Then approach the CEO of the company, tell them of your idea for fitness breaks in the workplace to help boost production and moral. Include the smokers by placing an “out of order” sign on the elevators doors so they have to use the stairs every day, then sit back and enjoy the incredible pay rise winging your way for revolutionizing the company’s output and keeping the work force healthy.

Ah, at least we can dream!

To read more about Louie Fecou, visit his Expert Profile.

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