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Why we set up this business and why wellbeing is now more important than ever

By Angela Knox | Jan 4, 2021

As we are setting forth on to the less than calm waters of another new year, we thought we would pause and take stock of where we as business owners have been, how and why we started this project, and our hopes and aspirations for the future.

No-one could ever have predicted the general chaos, pain and upset of the last year, and anyone running any kind of business has been challenged by the circumstances we have found ourselves in - and for a start-up like us it has been a fairly daunting though fascinating experience.

A short history

We originally started putting the first version of this website together more than 4 years ago, and have evolved and refined it over time, as we have researched and developed new ideas. 

We are 2 partners who have not only lived together for over 10 years, but also tucked away a good deal of life and business experience which we have called on as the inspiration for the business concept, the first of which was the important topic of sedentary behaviour in office workers and how to alleviate the problem.

After starting out with our pilot product, we set about talking to as many large scale potential clients as we could to find out their needs and pain points. We quickly learned from discussions with the biggest insurance based global providers of employee benefits packages in the market that providing wellbeing of any sort to remote workers in different countries was a big problem.  

There was a lack of practical wellbeing provision for employees working from home/remotely, and a big sense of lack of inclusion and engagement because of the nature of their work.  

Hence around 2 years ago we started to expand our focus and re-fashion our entire product, to provide a built-for-purpose work from home wellbeing platform which addresses the well-established paint points. 

This was way before the pandemic occurred, which has resulted in a sea change in the whole concept of working from home, with the much discussed upsides and downsides involved.  So rather than adding wfh as an after-thought as some offerings have done, it has been our intentional aim to provide a bespoke wfh product suite from the start.

When we started out on our working careers, wellbeing was not a term that was ever used within professional environments we worked in, and gyms were rare and used seemingly by fitness fanatics who were a slim minority of the population.  Physical exercise of any sort was confined mostly to weekends and holidays and consisted of walking, running, and sporting activities depending on choice - my personal preference was tennis, although I note with ever despairing observation that there is still such a lack of tennis court capacity in the UK it’s a wonder that we manage to produce any professional players at all.  Aerobics and yoga classes then became a thing for a while, and leg warmers appeared as a desirable fashion accessory, which could readily be flaunted as proof that you were doing something revolutionary for your fitness as well as your street cred.

Becoming vegetarian in the mid 1980s was also considered left field, and the options presented when eating out were so limited that partaking of a cheese salad or omelette was considered exotic.  Thankfully things have moved on, and we have also become more cosmopolitan as a nation, which has greatly helped to expand our horizons.

Other problems that people experienced in their day to day work lives were rarely mentioned except in hushed tones in quiet corners of offices, and very rarely between employee and employer.  Very real issues to do with mental health and sleep problems, financial concerns and lack of knowledge about money management, let alone how to properly plan for life and finances in retirement were part of the detritus that most often would be swept under a very large metaphorical carpet.

A bit about us and how we put this together

It occurred to us that it’s not often that buyers of services, especially digital ones, get to see or hear much background about the people behind the company, so we thought a bit of insight about the inspiration and hopefully integrity behind the concept may be a cool idea to write about, hence this blog. 

Being entrepreneurial is a state of mind, and we are both similar in this regard, as are many of the people we have worked with in putting the content together for this website - we have worked with academics, fitness professionals, nutritionists, actors, writers, designers, content contributors and web developers, most of whom run their own small businesses or work freelance.  Without this sort of determination and get up and go attitude, the British business landscape would be barren, so we are lucky to live and work in a country where having the hutzpah to do your own thing is celebrated. We have also learned a long list of new tech skills, which we had to do in order to avoid busting our budgets by using external suppliers.

During all the considerable research and development phases of building the Keep Fit Eat Fit platform, we aimed to find opportunities to provide solutions to health, fitness and wellbeing challenges that were not already in existence, and give the absolute best quality experience possible. This process has needed an investment of time, money (our entire life savings), commitment and belief to a level that we could never have dreamed the extent of at the outset.  The business is a partnership in the true sense of the word, as we have both lived and breathed the project solidly for the last 4 years.

Wellbeing and the future

Wellbeing - whether it is for employees, self-employed people or the retired - has become a subject of such importance that it cannot be ignored or put to one side.  It was always important pre-pandemic, but as the months have passed, the strains of lockdown and the many changes that life has brought to us have increased, it is now critical to all of us as human beings. The genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back in.

And now that a good proportion of the 12 million UK office workers (and the many millions across the world) are spending all or a great deal of their time working from home, people need to have access to the right tools that allow them to pursue a wide spectrum of activities.  These need to work together to maximise their physical, mental, social and financial wellbeing, without selling their soul to large data processors who force them to use expensive wearables and sell linked insurance products to their employers.

What we have aimed to achieve is an affordable, accessible, practical and enjoyable wellbeing experience, that works for any type and size of employer and their employees in any country in the world, whether they work from home or an office.  With the support of our clients and partners, current and future, we want to take the vision we had 4 years ago and build it into a vibrant, holistic and essential resource for people everywhere.  With your help we can achieve this goal.

Angela Knox

Angela Knox

I am a co-founder and director of Keep Fit Eat Fit Wellbeing Ltd and have come from a business and marketing background over many years, with a particular interest in everything to do with health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Having worked in offices for decades, I know the pitfalls of too much sitting at a desk, the challenges of fitting the gym around other commitments, and all the issues addressed within our website. The personal experiences of me and my partner Mark were the original inspiration for the concept of this website. Enjoy!