5 workout ideas for the working Singaporean

By Syukri Anwar


According to statisticbrain.com, 67% of people with gym memberships do not actually use them. To top that off, gym members only visit their gyms twice a week on average. 

Most working adults in Singapore have hectic office schedules to contend with, and sometimes even having a workout at the gym twice a week would seem like a luxury. 

The common misconception however, is that you can only have a good workout if you hit the gym or pick up a traditional sport, which requires commitment levels beyond what we can afford.

In actual fact, there are many ways to incorporate simple workouts in the comfort of your home or even at the office. Here we list a few ideas which just may be able to help you get your heart pumping with mimimal interference to your regular schedule.

Opting to walk instead of driving for lunch hour can burn up to 270 calories in half an hour (photo credit: John Yeong/SportSG).


The first and most common regime that many working adults exercise is walking. Instead of driving or taking public transport for lunch, many walk to their destinations.

This may seem like a trivial task but one can burn between 110 to 270 calories by just walking for 30 minutes. Walking not only burns calories but is also considered to be a good cardio exercise as well.

Sitting in your chair does not mean you are unable to tone up those abdominal muscles. Leg raises done on a regular enough basis can make a difference (photo credit: John Yeong/SportSG).


Not enough for the abs junkie in you? You can also train up your abdominal muscles by doing leg raises even when you’re sitting on your chair.

Here is a simple list of instructions to follow to go about doing an effective leg raise exercise:

1) Start with feet flat on floor.
2) Sit tall at your desk.
3) Hold your abdominal muscles tight.
4) Extend one leg until it is level with your hip.
5) Hold for ten seconds.
6) Slowly lower leg.
7) Repeat 15 times.
8) Switch legs.

To get a more complete workout, a good alternative is to have both legs raised at the same time, parallel to each other. 

Investing in a resistance band can come in handy when stretching in office (photo credit: John Yeong/SportSG).


On top of basic cardio exercises, some physical training can be conducted as well at the comfort of your desk. Remember that stretch you do every hour where you swivel your chair around and stretch your arms in the air?

Instead of just doing lazy stretches, get yourself a resistance band. Stretching the band for twenty times per hour will easily help you to tone up your arm and shoulder muscles. It is important to get a band that suits you physique as one that has too little resistance will not be effective. 

Helping to carry heavy objects around office may seem like a boring chore, but it helps tone up one's upper body in the process (photo credit: John Yeong/SportSG).


Another simple yet effective office workout would be lifting and walking around with weights. Lifting objects between 11-22 kgs, an equivalent to about four to five reams of A4 paper, will easily burn off about 170 calories. This is definitely an effective cardio workout that will help to tone your upper body as well.

These effective office workout regimes are good for those who are not going after something that is overly intense, and are seeking to regulate their fitness levels. The down side to exercising such regimes during office hours, however, will be excessive perspiration which might result in bad odour for the rest of the working day.

Not everyone's office comes with stairs, with many corporate buildings equipped with lifts. But when the opportunity arises, taking the stairs can be a good choice for a workout or even to aid digestion after a heavy lunch (photo credit: John Yeong/SportSG).


After a long day at work, it can be very tiresome to travel to a gym for a workout session.  One way to incorporate exercising into your daily lifestyle is opt to climb stairs whenever possible instead of taking the lift. Stairs are readily accessible facilities and are generally less crowded compared to popular running routes in the neighbourhood.

30 minutes of climbing the stairs can burn up to 400 calories, equivalent to a Fillet-O-Fish burger from McDonalds! This may not be such an advisable activity for those with weak knees; climbing stairs is known to be particularly bad for our knees as they might succumb to our weight and pressure. 


These five comprehensive workouts will definitely help to keep you fit and in shape if done on a daily basis. Adhering to a healthy diet will also make these exercise regimes work better as well. Keeping fit can be tiring, but it definitely keeps one healthy.

These workout regimes are not time-consuming at all and are best suited for the average working adult in Singapore. The only thing that is required is a basic level of discipline and nothing else can hold you back from leading a healthy lifestyle.


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