Fancy lunch on the run How exercising in your lunch hour can make you happier

If you are too tired to go to the gym after work, there is an answer. More than two million of us now go for a run during our lunch hour – or a 'runch', as it has been dubbed – instead.

All those 1pm jogs mean we clock up an average of 468 miles per year – phew!

'Hectic lifestyles mean the only real option is to incorporate exercise into the day,' said a spokesman for sportswear brand Helly Hansen, who carried out the survey of 1,500 Britons.

Let's do runch: More people are using their lunch break to go running

Let's do runch: More people are using their lunch break to go running

The survey also showed that working out proved the perfect excuse to stretch out our lunch hour – those who regularly pounded the pavement admitted they often took more than the permitted 60 minutes.

But our bosses can hardly complain, because further research published in the US Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology shows people who are physically active tend to be more enthusiastic about their jobs than those whose biggest daily exertion is taking the lift down to the office canteen.

'You don't have to be exercising every day to receive the feelgood benefits of exercise,' said David Conroy, a professor at Penn State University, who carried out the research.

And that's not all. The gym chain Virgin Active has dedicated office space in its newest club for New York-style 'sweatworking', networking while working out.

That will certainly bring a competitive edge to the workplace – and probably some awkward locker-room exchanges as well.