Public Health Chief supports lunchtime exercise classes

In an interview with the Observer this weekend Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, cited; lunchtime Yoga classes, walking meetings and workplace running clubs as just some of the positive steps businesses can take to improve staff wellbeing.Restorative Yoga session at TfL

Selbie said in the interview “SMEs are the backbone of the nation’s workforce and can kickstart a revolution in helping their staff to improve their health. People spend 30, 40 or sometimes 50 hours a week at work. That’s a unique opportunity for employers to use that big chunk of someone’s week to care for their health,”

“Employers could adopt group exercise challenges, such as ‘Couch to 5k’ or lunchtime run clubs, and promote active travel like cycling to work. Being regularly active is one of the best ways to prevent and manage poor musculoskeletal health and combat stress, which are both major causes of sickness absence”

Teach First - Abs blast classWe at Exercise in the City are passionate about getting workplaces active and bring Yoga, Pilates, Circuits, Bootcamp and more of your favourite fitness classes to workplaces across London. Our clients tell us how much they benefit from our classes, so we were delighted to hear PHE encouraging businesses to promote physical activity and employee health and wellbeing initiatives.

To find out more about the classes we offer and to book a workplace fitness class with us email

Read more from the interview here (Source; Guardian) 

How healthy is your lunch?

We all know how hard it can be to try and eat well whilst at work. Colleagues’ birthday cakes, office bake-off competitions, team biscuit tins… it can be quite challenging to avoid temptations in the office right? Planning and choosing what to eat for lunch every day can be difficult too.

When thinking about yours and your staffs’ Health and Wellbeing, consider also the importance of healthy eating. What you eat and your diet can affect work performance as well as your health. If you don’t have a well-balanced breakfast, lunch or drink enough water during the day, this can lead to headaches, feeling tired or difficulty concentrating.

Riya Grover - Founder of FeedrWe’re passionate about making workplaces healthier and making it easy for staff to get active during the working week.  Feedr are a business who share our passion and can help your employees to eat well by bringing delicious, healthy food to the office.

We interviewed Feedr Founder, Riya Grover, to find out more about them and her tips for eating more healthily at work.

How did you have the idea for Feedr?
I love eating well and am conscious about what goes into my body, but I know not everyone knows where to find food that is both delicious and really good for you.

The ‘aha’ moment came in late 2015. I saw a line that extended around the block – people were waiting for one of my favourite healthy eateries to open. It dawned on me that preferences have evolved significantly and so many people aspire to eat well. I researched the industry and realised there are so many fantastic food providers with innovative concepts, just waiting to be discovered. So we built Feedr!  Our curated online marketplace bringing together over a hundred healthy, nutritious food and snack vendors for Corporates and individuals to purchase.

How do you choose the vendors you work with?
Healthy Lunch options from Feedr (3)We’re very selective about who we choose to work with. We’re not about cardboard salads and kale-only meals. We find food vendors who have innovative concepts, source high quality produce, strip out bad ingredients and substitute them for healthier ones, cater to varied dietary requirements and have a strong ethos behind their food.

Give us a few examples of the healthy lunch choices you have available?
We’ve hundreds of boxes and buffet options to choose from. I’ve picked just a few examples from vendors; Vita Mojo, Karma Cans and Fork Deli.
Healthy Lunch options from Feedr (4)

  • Spicy turkey meatballs with quinoa, avocado, crispy polenta and a kale salad with a spicy thai dressing 
  • Chicken breast with jewelled cauliflower cous cous, mixed leaf salad and herb dressing
  • Seared salmon with za’atar, tahini and pistachio with a kale and spelt fattoush salad
  • Healthy Lunch options from Feedr (5)Sweet potato Falafels, siracha, yogurt dressing, chickpeas marinated in parsley, coriander, olive oil and lemon zest, dark green leaves blanched.

What are your three top tips for eating more healthily whilst at work?

1) Seek variety and ensure balance. Try to fill your week with a range of nutritious foods.

2) Keep healthy snacks at your desk like dried fruit, almonds, carrot sticks or apple with nut butter. Small snacks through the day help you keep focused and avoid you binging on junk food.

3) Plan – it’s not always easy to find healthy meals near your office. Plan ahead by bringing healthy leftovers from home. You can also sign up to Feedr’s Daily Menus .

Find out more about Feedr at
We’ve got special offer for you too… Use the code “FEEDR15” to get £15 off a corporate catering order, or £15 off a credit pack of meals for individuals using Daily Menus. 

As well as offering healthy lunches and catering for meetings, another great way to promote healthy eating in the workplace is to signpost staff to reliable information. British Heart Foundation and NHS Choices  provide the most up to date and reliable advice and have lots of useful resources on their websites. 

We can support you too and can organise bespoke Health and Wellbeing days for your workplace to include; fitness and physical activity, talks, healthy food and more.  Contact us for more information about how we can help make your workplace healthier.

Ditch the coffee, try stair walking to feel more energised during the working day

CoffeeA new study has shown that taking just 10-minutes to walk up and down stairs may be more effective than caffeine for increasing energy and motivation. Another great reason to get away from your desk and get active during the working day!

Many of us drink coffee, tea or caffeinated energy drinks to keep awake and energised whilst at work. We’re not preaching to stop drinking you’re favourite drinks, but next time you feel the need for a caffeine hit, maybe try the active option instead.

Researchers from the University of Georgia found that sleep-deprived adults who walked up and down stairs at a regular pace for 10 minutes felt more energised and motivated than those who consumed 50mg of caffeine  (roughly a can of diet coke).

The study was recently published in the journal Physiology and Behavior. Study co-author Patrick J. O’Connor, of the Department of Kinesiology at Georgia said;

“Office workers can go outside and walk, but weather can be less than ideal…And a lot of people working in office buildings have access to stairs, so it’s an option to keep some fitness while taking a short break from work.” 

The research involved female college students who reported having chronic sleep deprivation (less than 6.5 hours of sleep each night).  Participants were required to complete tests that assessed their working memory, attention, reaction time, work motivation, and mood states under two separate conditions.

Subjects completed the tests after taking a capsule containing either 50 milligrams of caffeine or a placebo. In the other condition, tests were completed after the participants had walked up and down 30 floors of stairs at a regular pace for around 10 minutes.

The team found that under the stair-walking condition, participants reported greater motivation to work and an increase in energy, compared with those under the caffeine condition.

Next time you feel the need for a coffee to boost your energy... try heading to the office stairwell instead!“We found, in both the caffeine and the placebo conditions, that there was not much change in how they felt, but with exercise they did feel more energetic and vigorous. It was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise, but with the 50 milligrams of caffeine, we didn’t get as big an effect.” said O’Conner.

O’Connor added that there is still much research to be done, but even a brief bout of stair walking can enhance feelings of energy without reducing cognitive function which is more beneficial than a dose of caffeine when it comes to energy and motivation in the workplace.

So next time you feel the need for that third coffee of the day, try taking some time away from your desk and hit the office stairwell!


Why you should try run commuting

Now the clocks have gone forward why not make the most of the extra light (and hopefully warmer days) and try run commuting?Run Commute

It’s such an easy way to fit exercise into your working day. If running your whole journey seems daunting, try getting on (or off) the tube a few stops earlier and run, jog or even walk just some of your way to work.

We spoke to run commuter Peter Ward to find out why it’s so great and for his advice and top tips for getting started:Peter Ward

Why did you start run commuting? 
I don’t like being on the tube in rush hour and was looking for ways to make my journey to work a little less stressful. I was a casual runner at the time (I’d completed a few 10K runs) so thought I would give it a go.  

How often do you run to or from work and how far is your run commute?
When I first started I would just run to work in the morning, maybe one or two times a week. I’m lucky I have shower facilities and lockers at work. Over time as my fitness improved, I started sometimes running home too. If I run directly to work it’s around 4 miles, but I often take a more scenic 6 mile route which is a little further but avoids traffic.  

London run commute viewWhat’s your favourite thing about run commuting?
I love being outside and experiencing London from a different perspective. There are so many beautiful parks and spaces in London to explore and I’ll often run through Hampstead Health, Primrose Hill,  Regents Park or along the Canal. 

What are the benefits of run commuting for you?
Firstly the cost saving. If I run to work and back, I save over £5 a day. I’ve got so much fitter since I started too, so there’s health benefits. Personally I’ve been training for a half marathon, and it’s been a great way to fit my training into my working week. Importantly for me I find it such a fantastic way to start the working day. I always feel really energised after running to work and running home from work is so good for stress relief after a busy day at the office. Plus I avoid the London rush hour on the tube.

What are your three top tips for someone looking to try run commuting?
1) Prepare the night before and try and pack light. Once you’ve got the bug invest in a lightweight ruck sack. 
2) Plan your route ahead and vary your route to keep it interesting.  
3) Make sure you have good trainers – it’s really important to have well fitting shoes. Most specialist running shops will be able to help buy the right shoes. 

You can follow Peter and his run commute routes on Strava or Twitter @Petos

NICE release new quality standard for Healthy Workplaces

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have released new quality standards providing advice for employers to help improve staff mental and physical health and wellbeing.National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Recommendations and rationale from the standards included;

Make health and wellbeing an organisational priority:
Giving a senior manager responsibility for health and wellbeing shows your organisation’s commitment to a healthy working environment. The named manager can then lead on healthy work initiatives and provide line managers and staff with support to improve working conditions. This can benefit both your organisation and your employees by increasing productivity, lowering staff sickness levels and improving job satisfaction and staff retention rates.

Make health and wellbeing a central part of line management roles:
This can help ensure your employees feel valued, content and able to discuss any concerns before they reach a crisis point. This can also improve productivity.

Ensure employees are involved in decision making:
Empowering your employees to be involved in organisational decisions and practices that have a direct impact on them shows that your organisation cares and values their opinions. It can also lead to improved working practices and, in turn, improved job satisfaction, resulting in a more content and healthy workforce as well as higher levels of commitment and productivity.

Read the full NICE Healthy Workplaces Guidelines: Improving employee mental and physical health and wellbeing

office* show round-up

IMG_1666We had a fantastic two days at the office* show at London Olympia last week.

Our founder, Julia Scodie, chaired a Workplace Health and Wellbeing panel discussion in the Keynote Theatre. Thank you to Femina Makkar, London Sport lead for the Workplace Challenge and Xenia Koumi, Project officer for Business Healthy, who joined the  panel.

20170301_110645It was great to chat to so many of you over at our stand where we were giving taster Workplace Stretch Sessions throughout the show.

If you missed us there, please do feel free get in touch. Find out more about our workplace Pilates, Yoga and fitness classes and tips and advice for championing Health and Wellbeing in your office. Email


Join us at the office* show, 1-2 March 2017, Olympia LondonAbout the office* show
The largest event of its kind, office*connects PAs, EAs, VAs and Office Managers with a host of exhibitors.  Education & experience is at the core of the show; with its keynote theatre and seminars offering seminars, workshops, panel discussions and presentations.

Join us at the office* show

Join us at the office* show, 1-2 March 2017, Olympia LondonThe UK’s largest event for PAs, EAs, VAs & Office Managers. O
ur founder will be chairing a Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace panel discussion in the keynote theatre on day one. You can also join our Workplace Stretch classes in the Chillout Zone on both days of the show.

Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace
Wednesday 1st March 2017; 14:00 – 14:45; Keynote Theatre

Julia Scodie, Founder Exercise in the CityThis interactive discussion will give you practical tips, advice and ideas for championing health & wellbeing initiatives in your own organisations and for yourself.

Our founder, Julia Scodie, will be chairing the session and joined on the panel by health and wellbeing experts;  Femina Makkar, London Sport lead for the Workplace Challenge and Xenia Koumi, Project officer for Business Healthy.
Find out more about the session here

Workplace Stretch with Exercise in the City
Wednesday 1 March & Thursday 2 March 2017; Stand D590
11.00-11.30 & 13.30-14.00

Pilates class for staff at Girlguiding head officeJoin our leading Pilates and Yoga instructors for our taster Workplace Stretch session. Recharge, stretch and strengthen your body and mind ready for your day at the office* or just take some well deserved time out.  No fitness gear required and mats provided. Places are limited, so first come first stretched!

About the office* show
1st and 2nd March 2017, Olympia, London
The largest event of its kind, office*connects PAs, EAs, VAs and Office Managers with a host of exhibitors ranging from venues and accommodation to office equipment and furniture.  Education & experience is at the core of the office* show; with its keynote theatre and seminars offering more than 40 complimentary and paid-for seminars, workshops, panel discussions and presentations. Topics to be covered will include personal and professional skills development, event & project management, HR & career development as well as health & wellbeing within the workplace.
Find out more and register for free at

Why Pilates & Yoga are great for Athletes

To become champions, athletes have to push their bodies to extreme fitness levels. To improve posture, avoid injury, and stimulate recovery, many of the UK’s top athletes turn to the mat for Pilates or Yoga.

British Olympic gold medallists who have used Pilates and yoga as an effective supplement for their training.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAndy Murray  Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has had to contend with his fair share of injuries during his career. In 2013 it was feared his career could be severely affected by a back injury and he wouldn’t be able to compete at the top level of the sport again. As we know, not only did Murray make a comeback to top tier tennis, but he did it by winning Wimbledon for a second time, collecting a second gold medal in the 2016 Olympics, helping Great Britain win the Davis Cup, and finishing as the world number one player at the end of 2016. Continue reading

Active Lunch Challenge Competition

London Sport

Staff at London Sport get active with a lunchbreak Pilates class

We’re working with London Sport supporting the Active Lunch Challenge offering you the chance to win a lunchtime fitness class at your London office.  

The Prize
One of our fantastic instructors will come along to your workplace to teach one of our classes. All you need is a free meeting room or space in your office and some willing colleagues!

How to enter
1) Pledge to get active and sign up to the Active Lunch Challenge
2) Email us at  to let us know you’ve pledged to get active!
Entries close 28th February 2017. Ts & C’s apply 

Why take part
The Active Lunch Challenge is an 8-week national activity logging challenge taking place from now until the 28th February 2017.
It’s a great and easy way to make an active change to your daily routine.

Activities can be anything that gets your heart rate elevated, makes you feel a little bit warmer and gets your blood pumping.

From a brisk lunch break walk, stretching at your desk, taking the stairs instead of the lift to a fitness class in your office… everything counts.

and sign up to the challenge today

Liven up your lunch

active-lunch-social-media-imageJoin the Active Lunch Challenge
Did you know introducing just ten-minutes of bite size chunks of activity in and around your working day can help maintain a healthy lifestyle?

From now until the 28th February you and your colleagues can join the Active Lunch challenge by logging your activities and earning activity points with the Workplace Challenge.

Activities can be anything that gets your heart rate elevated, makes you feel a little bit warmer and gets your blood pumping. From a brisk lunch break walk, stretching at your desk to a fitness class in your office.

Why take part
Many of us spend more than 60% of our waking hours at work, and in January/February when the mornings and evenings are filled with darkness getting out and being active can often be the last thing we want to do!  So the challenge will be highlighting lots of easy ways you can make an active change to your daily routine.

We’re passionate about getting workplaces active and will be supporting the Workplace Challenge to promote the campaign with prizes, tips and advice to help you stay healthy in the workplace.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to find out more through the campaign