Can You Burn Fat Sitting Down?
Beet the retreat
Get a round of beetroot shots in Research from the University of Exeter found that its nitric oxide improves circulation immediately, so down one after lunch to back-up your metabolism. Beetroot is this year's miracle cure: it ramps up alertness, and makes your evening gym session 20% more effective. It's one shot you won't regret in the morning.
The desktop six-pack
Turn clearing your emails into a workout. "On your seat's edge, tense your abs, lean back, lift your feet and hold it for 10sec bursts," says Joakim Christoffersson, author of Nano Workouts. Do twice daily for a week for the effect of an abs session - just keep it out of the meeting room.
Pepper the fat
"If you have to be stuck in a chair all day, you need your metabolism firing as fast as it can," says nutritional scientist Christine Bailey. "Cayenne pepper is the best condiment to accelerate it. Keep it in your drawer; shake it on everything."
Expand in vein
Keep a stash of macadamias to hand - new research has found that they're the most effective snack to maintain a healthy circulatory system. They're also high in protein, which keeps your blood sugar level steady, warding off the post-lunch carb binge.
Hit stress in the neck
It's the stress hormone cortisol that sends you snack hunting. Flush it from your system by tilting your head back. Boston University found that your neck is a pressure valve; roll your head 10 times each way to lower your blood cortisol and desire for the biscuit tin.
Use your gut to lose it
An orange a day keeps your digestive enzymes in good form, reducing fat storage. Keep them in the fridge and you'll improve nutrient availability by 20%.
Posterior chain reaction
Losing weight doesn't have to be a pain in the backside. By tightening your glutes 50 times consecutively, you'll give your body a growth-hormone spike (the key hormone you need to lose weight). Write a difficult email to your boss and your cheeks will do their own squeezing.
Target the root cause
Take your white fish with fresh ginger - it speeds up your heart rate, metabolism and the uptake of vitamins from the fish. "It's proven to aid circulation," says Bailey. "Pretty vital if you're in the hot seat for eight hours straight a day. Put a couple of slices in a container with some fish and microwave for 6min." It makes fish smell more office-friendly too.
Worship standing up
If you've sacrificed too many hours at the altar of FIFA, play the second half stood up.Juststand.org calculates that we burn almost 100 more calories by getting up off the chair every few minutes (based on a 170lb man standing for two hours out of a four hour session).You will also burn up any glucose in your bloodstream, so it isn't converted into fat. Dramatic goal celebrations burn extra.
Stretch to burn
While seated, reach down to the outside of your left foot with your right hand and gently pull up. Then the other side. Staying supple this way will keep your muscles awake, fend off back pain and keep your metabolism turned on.
If you want to burn calories without feeling self conscious, try some leg extensions under the desk. Sit up straight and tense your abs. Lift a leg straight out to hip level with your foot pointing skywards. Hold the position for 10sec and switch. Do it once every two hours at work and you've spent another 120 calories.
Struggling with your choice of DVD this weekend? Invite Jack Nicholson in and say goodbye to a Crunchie's worth of calories. A University of Westminster study found that people watching The Shining burned 184 calories during the film. Other horrors follow close behind on the night-in sofa burn index, using up at least 150 calories per two hours of fright.
Get Stannah out of your mind. Smash through calories with 5 sets of these. Trap your feet under the seat to fix your position, then move your chest to your knees. Do 10 reps at a time, ideally when your boss isn't looking.
Raise the bar
Calf raises are the most effective exercise to get your heart pumping while seated. Place the heaviest object in grabbing distance on your thighs - your gym bag or a couple of books are just about right - then go onto the balls of your feet, contracting your calves for about 20 reps. That's another 60 calories wasted.
Revive dead time
"See every moment you don't have to look at the screen as an opportunity," says Martin Gibala fro the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University. If you're on the phone for more than an hour a day at work, just grab something and rep out a few arm extensions. The office stapler will do just fine.
Learn the double dip
Knock this out between emails for an arms session to rival anything you do in the gym. Grab your arm rests, lift your feet a few inches off the ground and engage your stomach muscles. Then press down with your hands to raise your body up off the chair, until your arms are straight. Hold for one count, then lower into the chair. Repeat until your next annoying email.
By: Mark Sansom; Photography: Getty