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Lou Walker is a speaker and researcher focusing on workplace health and wellbeing. She is the author of the only academic study on workplace cake culture. 


She speaks at events to help employers improve their workplace eating environment and maximise return on wellbeing investment. 

%

say office cake has contributed to weight gain

%

eat cake if it is available

%

thought they would eat less cake if it was out of view

Keeping the workplace environment healthy is a challenge

Many employers invest in measures to protect and enhance employee health and wellbeing. They know a happy, healthy workforce is a productive workforce.
 
But life today makes it increasingly hard for employees to make healthy choices at work, despite employers’ best intentions. For example a workplace cake culture makes it hard to avoid excess calories and a sedentary role makes it hard to avoid inactivity. Both these increase health risk and undermine health and wellbeing investment.

Lou uses evidence from her own research into office cake culture and other health research to show how to adapt workplaces so that it's easier for employees to behave in a healthy way without having to consciously think about it. This helps employers boost health and wellbeing, and maximise the many benefits that come with it.

She shares these insights speaking at conferences, health and wellbeing events, informal lunch & learn-style sessions and top team briefings.

Empowering everyone to tackle obesity-related ill health in the workplace

Lou encourages both employers and employees to recognise their capacity to impact workplace health and shares low-cost/high impact ways to do so.

By explaining how obesity-related health risk has increased as our food has become more processed, convenient and accessible, she outlines the challenges we face to protect our health by maintaining healthy workplaces. 
Her office cake research, the first of its kind, reveals misconceptions that can be overcome, and identifies characteristics of workplace eating culture that help and hinder workplace health.

She shows how small changes, spearheaded by employee collaboration, benefit everyone by making it easier to make healthy choices that don’t rely on willpower.

Crucially, consensus around how often people want workplace cake, means her messages and recommendations leave audiences feeling optimistic and empowered.

"A great speaker with a great message." de Winter Consulting, 2018
"A great presentation... interesting, fun and witty."  ThoughtWorks, 2018
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Rethinking office cake offers employers an opportunity

In 2017, Lou conducted the first academic research into office cake culture.  Here are some key findings:
  • Office cake culture changes employee eating habits and their waistlines so could increase health risk 
  • People want cake less often than it is currently available. 95% of respondents said the ideal frequency for office cake was once a week or less; 41% said once a month
  • If cake is available, people eat it 
  • People value the social, morale-boosting effects of office cake culture but recognise negative consequences such as weight gain, difficulty eating healthily at work and difficulty sticking to a diet. 
This data suggests it is feasible to rethink office cake to achieve a healthier, more productive balance between the social benefits and health risks without anyone feeling deprived.

Invite Lou to speak at your event to share more insights from the research.

Discover what your colleagues think about office cake with a bespoke survey.

Lou speaks and delivers briefings to offer insights on workplace health and wellbeing. Get in touch if you would like to:

  • improve employee health which can lead to improved productivity and employee engagement 
  • harness and develop the morale-boosting aspects of office cake culture while minimising the health risks 
  • understand the latest research on the link between workplace health and wellbeing initiatives and employer value proposition 
  • understand the cake culture in your workplace by using the full office cake questionnaire so you can tailormake your response 
  • use evidence-based methods to change your workplace eating environment to make it easier for people to make healthy choices
  • understand how rethinking office cake can affect public health.

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