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The Next Big Thing

The issue of obesity is big and it’s only getting bigger. 

Some things that alarm me: 

• M&S offers ‘Plus Fit’ clothing in their primary school uniform range. 

• School dinners provided by our local council offer a menu of choices that includes just one ‘healthy option’ for our kids (how many 6-year-olds will choose the vegebake over the pizza with chips?). 

• Bariatric care environments (just Google the images!) and bariatric furniture are a real consideration in the design of new healthcare, leisure and workplace environments. 

• Jamie Oliver warns us that ours will be the first generation to outlive the next because of the soaring diabetes rates and health problems children are faced with.

This is all wrong.

Let’s face it, we need to sit less and stand, and walk, more. We spend a lot of time working and most of that time sitting at a desk. So, at StudioLR we have taken some tiny steps to shift our culture towards a healthier workplace. 

At the start of last year we offered our employees one hour out of their working week to spend doing something healthy. By summer we had two obsessed ‘Tough Mudders’ (the 10-12 mile obstacle race designed to test mental grit and physical strength), one endurance cyclist clocking up 50 mile rides, a 100 x pull-up and press-up challenge, and we noticed the shift from crisps and biscuity snacks to oatcakes and unsalted almonds. And the occasional square of dark chocolate. 

We encourage a step-away-from-your-desk and walk-over-to-talk-to-each-other culture and a we-won’t-laugh-at-you-for-stretching policy. Only two sick days taken last year across the whole team seems remarkable – all in all a happier and healthier workforce. 

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Lucy Richards
StudioLR

#1 Turning old cardboard into warm jumpers

About a year ago we started volunteering on the Bethany Care Van, providing hot meals and warm clothing to rough sleepers in Edinburgh. For me personally, it’s been a bit of a revelation – 12 months ago I’d have walked past a homeless person without even considering their story. Now, having shared a handful of lunch breaks with them, I know their faces, their names and enough about them to realise that with a bit of bad luck I could easily be on the other side of the serving hatch.

We’d been asked for warm clothes a few times on the van and found them to be in short supply. So, with the Christmas card season upon us, we hit on an idea. Using old cardboard boxes from the dumping ground behind our bookcase, and spare wrapping paper from our over-zealous Christmas shopping, we created an environmentally-friendly direct mailer that you just couldn’t help but open. Landing on desks on a snowy day in late December, looking like a wrapped up Christmas present and baring the line All Wrapped up for Christmas, our mailer asked for donations of warm clothing to be passed straight on to those sleeping rough in the harshest of weather. 

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Within a couple of days we were flooded with warm donations and we knew those hours cutting cardboard had all been worthwhile. We received dozens of jumpers, jackets, hats and blankets. Every single item really did make a huge difference. A warm pair of socks and a waterproof can go a long way towards making the cold nights more bearable and thanks to the generosity of our friends I think we spread a wee bit of warmth this Christmas. 

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If you’d like to help out it isn’t too late (it’s still freezing outside and over 350 people sleep rough in Edinburgh). If you have warm clothing to donate please get in touch with any of the team or email Dave.King@studiolr.com.

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Dave King
StudioLR

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