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The Workaholic's Workout

A new study suggests working too many hours seriously increases your stroke risk. Here's how to fit three lifts into your busy schedule.
Andrew Herchakowski

Let's hear it for office heroes: Hour after hour, powering through late nights and early mornings, you productivity machines are what keep this great nation's economy churning. It ain't easy—so it's no wonder some dudes wear 'workaholic' like a badge of honor.

But, uh, guys? We have some bad news: People who work 55 hours or more per week have a significantly higher risk of stroke and a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than their counterparts who work a (comparatively saner) 35 to 40 hours a week, according to a new study out of University College London.

Specifically, the UCL researchers found that the workaholics were one-third more likely to suffer a stroke than people who worked a healthier 35 to 40 hours a week. The workaholics were also 13 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease, according to another set of 17 studies. And although the sheer number of hours worked might not directly increase one's risk for a stroke, the study's authors suggest that kind of workload is also associated with unhealthy behavior, like heavy drinking, repeatedly triggering the body's stress response, and basically sitting in your cubicle all day.

Look: We hear you, workaholics. Not everyone can afford to tear themselves away from the cubicle. But it's all about priorities. And if yours include maintaining a functioning body, you just ran out of excuses.

That's why we created this one-hour-a week workout. All you need is 20 minutes a day, three days a week, and it'll help stave off those nasty physical effects of sitting around, crunching Excel spreadsheets all day.

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Perform the following exercises as a continuous, non-stop circuit at 15 repetitions each.


An essential compound movement that recruits muscle fibers in the quads, glutes, hams and lower back. 


A power movement that will effectively stabilize the core while working the upper and middle back, along with rear deltoids.


Known as the squat of shoulder exercises, the upright row will effectively target the entire shoulder complex, front to back.


Adding the resistance element to abdominal training will promote muscle hypertrophy, or growth, and stabilize the core.

Rest for 90 seconds and repeat two more full circuits.




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