Is your office constantly overflowing with tubs of brownies, flapjacks and birthday cake? (It’s ok… honesty in the best policy!) Have you noticed that most of us are sitting at a desk all day hunched and slouched? Yup – not the best combo! Endless birthday or holiday treats and sedentary days will inevitably lead to weight gain and poor health but how do you go about enforcing healthy habits? On the one hand, you don’t want to become an office dictator and force everyone into doing military style morning stretches or force-feed colleagues kale, but on the other hand maybe you should be encouraging positive changes in you work place! Here at Hip and Healthy we understand the dilemma and have come up with some easy and subtle ways to “healthify” your place of work!

Introduce Healthy Alternatives
Start introducing people to the wonderful world of treats free from refined sugar and nasties. If you’re into baking, why not whip up some of our raw carrot cake bites? Jaws will drop when you tell them these bites of pure heaven are actually healthy! Or if don’t have the time, we recommend to start weaning your colleagues off cheap and sugary chocolates and onto Om bars! You could also try contacting your facilities manager to see if they would be interested in swapping the traditional vending machines full of junk for ones packed with healthy snacks (check out Healthy Nibbles for ideas).

Gather a Group for Lunch Break Workouts
Lots of gyms and studios now run short lunch-break friendly classes between 12 and 2. Good Vibes (studios in Covent Garden and Fitzrovia) have twenty five minute power plate circuits, shorter spin classes and lunch-time yoga. HIIT studios in London Bridge run intense twenty minute sessions which even leaves enough time to dry your hair and put so make up on! Or, why not head to Barre Core’s 30 minute Express sessions for the perkiest booty in town! Also most gyms and studios offer corporate deals if you can rope in enough colleagues!

Another way of getting the office into exercise is to arrange for the Pilates and yoga teachers to come to you – all you need is a spare meeting room (see Stretching the City’s fab offerings). Lastly if your office has showers, gather some work buddies for a half hour run/walk instead of desk-lunching.

Rope In Some Professionals
Obligatory work training sessions can sometimes be a little dull so why not suggest a talk by a nutritionist covering topics such as “good nutrition for busy people” (after all, healthy people are generally productive people). Another great way to raise awareness of healthy products and exercise is to contact local health shops, cafés or healthy food companies who may be interested in popping into your office for a breakfast or lunch time promo – think samples of smoothies and yummy nibbles. Lastly if you can convince enough people to sacrifice their cheese and pickle baguettes, you could order homemade, healthy lunches from companies such as Urban Kitchen.

Be a Good Example
Lastly and most importantly practice what you preach. We aren’t saying never drink wine or eat chocolate again but nobody is going to listen to someone who talks about healthy living and then leads the office to the local fish and chip shop after Friday night drinks. Equally being super-obsessive is not going to positively influence anyone. Trust us, talking about the benefits of juicing 24/7 is just going to put everyone off. Plus if you really want people to listen to you, you won’t need to say much. Your inner and outer glow from a healthy lifestyle will make people ask questions and want to do whatever you are doing!

words by Kathleen Fleming