“Let there be a new way of life!”

11 November 2013

In the Soviet Union of the late 1920s and early 1930s, ideologues of the new regime believed that to become a productive worker, first woman should be liberated from her tedious household chores. A Soviet propaganda poster thus declared:

“Down with kitchen slavery! Let there be a new way of life!”


G. M. Shegal, c. 1929

Долой кухонное рабство! даешь новый быт!

Replace the word ‘kitchen’ with the word ‘desk’, and you have a condition that many an office worker suffers from, both male and female: Desk slavery! Do you spend all day at a desk, barely coming up for air? Do you eat your lunch in the same office, surrounded by the same files, papers and tasks that will beleaguer you for the rest of the day? Whilst these jobs cannot be ignored permanently, for a brief time every day – the lunch hour – we can achieve two things: Escaping the desk slavery to which we normally subject ourselves, and fitting in our recommended daily exercise!

So step away from your desk, put on your running shoes and hit the road. At an average pace, you could fit in 2- 3 miles (or more!), with time to shower, and devour your lunch before returning to your desk a little warm, but fitter, refreshed, more alert and ready for an afternoon’s work. For those on flexi-time, why not choose, a few times a week, to take an hour’s break instead of half an hour, and get out there – escape the office!

The benefits of exercise are not only physical, but mental, helping you deal with intellectual challenges, as well as physical ones. As an employee, you will be able to serve your company better. If you are an employer, perhaps this is the moment to set your employees an example! So use your lunch break to really take a break: Walk, jog, run…just put one foot in front of another, fill your lungs with the great outdoors, leave behind the trials and tribulations of work, clear your mind of the hurly burly of the office and feel the benefits. Go on, down with desk slavery, let there be a new way of life!


Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.


  1. Howard Jones

    Really sound advice and much easier that it might seem.

    You just need to go for it often enough for it to become a habit and then you won’t be able to stop!!

  2. Green & Co

    Hi Howard, judging by your comment, shall I assume that you’ve already said ‘down with the desk slavery’? Do you ‘fill your lungs with the great outdoors’ in your lunch break? 🙂

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