It’s not easy staying active while working from home, but some forward-thinking employers are helping staff remain healthy of body and mind in lockdown with invigorating online exercise classes.

FOR MANY of us, working from home is no picnic. It’s easy to feel disconnected from your company and colleagues and inevitably we can fall into bad habits. And with normal exercise routines also difficult to maintain, it can all lead to our mental health taking a knock.

“I recently read that the next global pandemic could be depression – the need for exercise is probably at the highest it’s been for decades,” stresses Stuart McDade, co-founder of Eat Move Breathe Fitness.

In 2003, Stuart, 47, founded the fitness company alongside his wife Clare.

Now, after being forced to move their business online through Zoom and Facebook Live, the pair are finding interest from corporations eager to provide colleagues with an exercise programme – in the hope it will have a positive impact on the overall mental health of employees. Previous clients who have signed up to the Eat Move Breathe programme include John Lewis & Partners and Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance.

Stuart offers bodyweight classes and Clare hosts yoga sessions.  Stuart said: “The corporate packages can be very tailored. If it’s a high-stress environment I might need to change the training, or maybe it’s low-stress and I’ll need to energise them.”


During the pandemic, many companies have been implementing welfare plans for employees who are working remotely. To cater for this need, Stuart and Clare create bespoke classes for their clients, with most running for 30 minutes throughout the working week.

“Our workforce might be working from home for the foreseeable future, and offering the classes through the working day I feel is quite a powerful statement – it shows how important the company values their staff’s wellbeing,” Stuart adds.

Along with its corporate packages, Eat Move Breathe has been running set workouts for individual clients. Stuart says: “If people enjoy it in the slightest that’s the joy, because most people still see exercise as a necessary evil.

“I do everything I can to make it a bit of a laugh – making the music high energy, or bit of banter, I’ll keep the workout simple with different options for all levels.

“When Clare does the yoga classes, she obviously realises that most people are sitting at their desk all day and will have a certain posture and certain imbalances in their body, and because of that she can gear yoga to reverse that. It’s satisfying seeing people realise what their bodies can do.”

Stuart’s passion for nutrition and personal training truly took off when, at the age of 29, he quit his secure job as a manager at Clydesdale Bank to pursue a career in fitness and wellbeing. Now, from their home gym in Hamilton, Stuart and Clare’s services are being sought from a wider audience as the need to instil exercise into our lockdown routines increases.



1. Enjoy your first session

2. Take it easy and just turn up

3. Start at a pace you can sustain

4. Be gentle and patient

5. Don’t beat yourself up – it’s about taking back some control