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I Tried It: Fitness at the Office


Photo by Jay Reilly

You Try It!

O-Ya Fitness
Available to downtown SD offices (expanding soon)
Starts at $179 for four 15-min. sessions

Everyone knows that long periods of sitting are hazardous to your health, but still, we don’t get up from our desks. Even at the San Diego Magazine offices, we’ve had a shared treadmill desk for more than a year, but it gets used about as often as our kitchen’s backup toaster.

Enter O-Ya Fitness, a new local company created by Kendra Pennington, 31, who got the idea one day when she’d left her desk for a midday workout and returned to find that her colleagues hadn’t moved. She got them to do squats with her, noticing that after just five to 10 minutes of movement, they were a little happier, a little livelier, and seemingly more productive. Pennington now employs a small body of trainers that she dispatches to offices all over downtown.

On O-Ya’s first visit to our 11th-floor digs, trainer Danyelle Solana came for a 15-minute session. She brought resistance bands and led us through rows, squats, planks, and stretches. The big incentive was that we wouldn’t have to change out of our work clothes, although a few people in skirts had to pass on the planks. It was convenient and I felt invigorated by the workout.

On the second visit, we tried a 30-minute yoga session. For this one, we traipsed down to the basement gym on a Friday afternoon. Most people changed into yoga gear and brought mats (O-Ya also provides). We performed basic poses such as Warrior Two, Downward Dog, and Half Pigeon. I definitely worked my muscles, but the whole thing took longer than 30 minutes, with the outfit change and the subterranean journey.

It’s worth a go if your office has a good space and willing candidates. O-Ya says you’ll see the best effects if you schedule a session around lunchtime, sometime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. You can do 15 minutes or an hour. Just make sure you’ve got a motivator on staff to keep up enthusiasm. You don’t want those sessions to go the way of the backup toaster.  

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