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#058: Online Fitness with Angus Burke

EP Fitness Online is designed for the busy working professional. This comprehensive program provides accountability, structure and the resources for one to succeed in the kitchen and in the gym. We provide clients with a chance to get fit and healthy anywhere in the world. By combining technology, education, resources and the proper coaching we have no doubt that you will succeed.

Angus Burke discusses how fitness programs are great, but not the only aspect of staying healthy.

We all have to earn a living, but sometimes we don’t think of the effect of sitting for an extended period has on our physical well being. Welcome to The Modern Desk Jockey, providing you with healthy solutions for the desk worker. Our conversations with industry professionals and topic-based podcasts are guaranteed to keep you active for a healthy more effective work week. Now here’s your host Dr. Kevin Christie.

Dr. Kevin Christie: Hey Desk Jockeys, its Dr. Kevin Christie with another episode of The Modern Desk Jockey, today I had a nice interview. It was a long time coming to get someone on here about fitness again, so I was lucky enough to have Angus Burke come on of EP Fitness Online. They provide a more holistic approach to the online health space, and so they have developed an app, an online platform to essentially give desk workers the accountability they need and the knowledge they need to actually make the changes to their fitness and their health, and we discuss certain things like posture and obesity and cardiovascular fitness. Things of that nature and essentially EP Fitness Online is a lightweight corporate wellness program that brings together a personalized approach to fitness nutrition and health. You know clients work as a team in a competitive landscape but also work towards their individual health needs and they have kind of a gamification of fitness, and there’s a lot going on about that topic which I’ve actually pretty intrigued about as far as gamification and accountability and there’s been some really good research of sticking to something whether it’s a service, a fitness or just anything that has the gamification aspect of it, and so we dive a little bit into that. We discuss accountability for sure, we talk about how being in the gym and having fitness is not the only solution to improving your health, there’s definitely more to it. We even touch in on like fitness snacking which we’ve had an episode prior as well. So it was a nice interview to discuss some fitness and some tools and tactics that you can do at your workstation and in the gym to try to help with your overall fitness. So without further ado, this is Angus Burke of EP Fitness Online. Welcome to the show Angus, give us a little bit about yourself before we start to dive into some of the meat and potatoes for our Desk Jockeys.

 

Angus Burke: Alright well thanks for having me Kevin, yeah so I’ve always been involved in athletics growing up, and for the most part, I played soccer. I founded EP fitness Online right now looking for more to provide a holistic approach to the online health space and I’ve always been as an entrepreneur been involved in health and wellness, and I’m originally at a strength and conditioning company that we focus on young athletes and then that sort of morphed into working with more of business professionals in fitness and that’s where we founded EP Fitness that still operates here in downtown Vancouver, and from there I noticed a sort of a trend, I’ve always been interested in technology. That’s where I started to bring some of my clients and some soccer teams and some groups online so working from sort of an EP perspective and then eventually I for getting interested in the corporate wellness space and how that could relate to technology and how that could relate to providing better help to a bigger scope of people and so that’s where we are now. Somebody’s always been active in doing all sorts of things in the community almost a different sports, and so here I am.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: Perfect, yeah sounds good you know obviously with us we’ve tried to digitize and really bring the technology of ergonomics to the corporations and the desk workers, and it sounds like you are kind of blending fitness with technology to make it easily consumable for the corporate employees/desk worker. So I think that’s one of the best ways to get this to them obviously you know not everybody has the time to do it the more traditional way. So it’s exciting to hear what you guys have going on, and we’ll dive more into it for sure but before we do let’s get into the nitty-gritty of it for these Desk Jockeys and I wanted to press you and ask you like what’s your biggest health concern for the Desk Jockey?

 

Angus Burke: Certainly the first thing that comes to mind is posture, I can see that when I’m working my in-person clients here in Vancouver and even myself I mean I have a great example what not to do. When I was founding EP Fitness Online, I was doing a lot of laptop work, and on my feet, I was watching my posture and eventually develop a performance syndrome which server a familiar ache that shoots right down the side of your leg, so I had to work on that through different flexibility work. So that is something that can happen, of course I know if you’re dealing with obesity issues, cardiovascular issues, lower back, tight hips, neck issues I guess you know theoretically Carpal Tunnel syndrome would be in there as well.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: Yeah there’s definitely a lot of them, I’m going to kind of dissect two of these that you mentioned because I think obviously everybody comes from a different place, everybody’s got different goals, different situations, not everybody’s dealing with obesity but some people are and I’m assuming that’s one of the biggest things when you do an assessment is like ‘where are they at right now?’ And for some people you know like even for myself and like you mentioned I don’t battle the obesity or the cardiovascular issues stuff like that, but I do battle posture and so let’s go from there. What are some of the things that you are doing to try to help these desk workers with posture?

 

Angus Burke: I think the big thing more than anything is trying not to sit for very long and that’s easier said than done just depending on the work setting right but I mean if you can stand, if you can move, you can stand, move, you can just sort of keep your bodies not in one spot for a long time makes a huge difference, and I think just… also just if you can have a chair that gives you some of that lumbar support, I mean you know I’m sure you would be well involved in that.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: Absolutely.

 

Angus Burke: That’s going to make a huge difference and then I mean just in myself in terms of just what I do is I just put some books on the counter and then I just place my laptop on top of their, stand and maybe stand for forty minutes, I’ll sit for ten or fifteen and I’ll sort of repeat that, that’s helped me for sure.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: So from a fitness perspective obviously you’re trying to give them recommendations to be proactive and prevent some of the ill effects of sitting. Now can you just give us a few examples of some exercises or even body parts that you’re trying to work on from a fitness perspective to help with their posture?

 

Angus Burke: Yeah I mean you’re looking at helping them with their mobility right more than anything. So their lower back, their hips, for the most part, I mean you want to get them to be standing, walking obviously increase their moderate activities of getting those, however, it is getting those steps in and getting people to move. So I mean there some different ways you can do that, just taking phone calls on your headphones while you’re walking, pacing all things you don’t really think about — they do add up and at the end of the month when you sort of adding in you know those extra calories burned, just little things that are nice little stepping stones for people even if it seems minor it does make a difference in the long run, that’s what technology can do to help that as well.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: Yeah it can definitely help out, I know I had one guest previously talk about fitness snacking and it was just kind of like that where you just if you integrate all activities throughout your day it’s really going to help break up the monotony, but now let’s say we’re getting this desk worker into the gym, and you’re working with them, or they’re utilizing your service and stuff, what are you recommending to them as far as, do you integrate five or ten minutes of partial correction exercise into their workout or is it just you know some exercises naturally do that? Are they doing a post workout stretch to help with mobility? What would you say as far as in the gym to try to help with the posture?

 

Angus Burke: Yeah it is a little hard when you’re a fitness trainer to really sort of sit down there and spend the time to really assess those things because obviously, you’re trying to work towards their fitness goals in a short amount of time. So yeah I mean of course yeah there’s stretching, will do some static stretching and talk about some of the posture strategies at the end but they’re there for various different reasons. So the desk jockey the need to sort of just be aware and educate themselves how they can help themselves from the day to day at work. So yeah I mean it just depends on who they are what they’re doing right, so yeah if they are sitting at that desk a lot then yeah we do some mobility stuff with their hips at the end, some different yoga poses that would help with that but again it’s not enough right you know unfortunately.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie:  I think your right and that’s what I try to convey to our desk jockeys whether I’m doing a webinar for a large corporation or I even had a podcast episode where it was like to six steps of preventing desk related pains or injuries and one of the big things is definitely awareness and just kind of understanding what’s going on. Another big thing is corrective exercise, kind of what we’re discussing and then on top of that is just integrating activity throughout the day, and that’s the only way you’re going to really have a well-rounded approach to improving your posture and obviously decrease some of the musculoskeletal aches and pains and injuries that these desk workers are having. So you know I think fitness, everybody knows how important that is and I think the mistake that a lot of people make with fitness is that they… is just more of a vanity thing for them like they’re just trying to get into shape per say you know, and that can be different for everybody but I’ve looked into what you guys are doing from a fitness perspective for the desk worker, and it’s definitely more well-rounded. So it’s taking into consideration things like posture you know basic fitness, cardiovascular health, decreasing body fat percentages and stuff like that and so I think the desk worker has to take kind of an audit of themselves and what their goals are and then from there making sure that they have fitness into their life that’s easy to implement and obviously effective and so can you speak to that like as far as what you guys are doing, as far as your technology and how you’re bringing this ability of integrating fitness into their routine seamlessly?

 

Angus Burke: What we do with EP Fitness, how we bring fitness to people is we provide them with a fitness app and as a personalized program.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie:  Okay.

 

Angus Burke: For the user to work on their day to day and it doesn’t have to be… it doesn’t necessarily have to be a fitness program, and it depends on what they’re doing right. So maybe it’s a flexibility program at first to help them with the mobility issues, maybe to walking program, maybe you know, and that leads into a running program. It really just depends on what they’re looking to do and just like anything with fitness it is accountability, and that’s the big thing, and so your know provide them with effective fitness, we want to provide them with nutrition resources, the accountability and that’s sort of personalized approach and, of course, that’s just needed for in-person fitness but also for corporate clients as well and so you’re when you’re combining technology you do get to have some advantages that way, you know that somebody is there on the other end you will succeed. Now you have to have that, you need to feel like you do have a personal relationship with them and so that’s where there is a little bit of more of an obstacle from the online space, but it’s totally doable, and it can be done with some real results.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: Definitely you know there’s a lot of good case studies evidence out there, a lot of user experience they’re showing the technology and using the absence of it that can work and it is working you brought up accountability and I think obviously being held accountable for your fitness is instrumental, and that’s why you know a lot of companies are integrating technologies to do that that also track and then from there they can give… you know we had one company that built a healthy rewards for certain things, and so there’s a lot of things that desk workers can do with this technology to really meet their goals and I think one of the biggest things that the desk work has to understand is depending on where they’re coming from that you have to set your goals and you have to just start meeting those goals. I’m actually, the day of this recording I’m doing a webinar for a large company, and it’s called The Active Desk Jockey, and this is the folks that are super active outside, like they’re generally healthy, they’re triathletes, or they’re in the gym five days a week or they’re playing basketball four days a week or whatever it may be but they’re still dealing with musculoskeletal injuries because desk sitting is so problematic even for them, but if I was assessing that person from a fitness standpoint their goals are going to be different than the goal of maybe someone that’s having cardiovascular issues and the technology is going to allow to build that program for them which is super exciting, and I think that’s the key takeaway today. Is that being held accountable for your fitness is one of the first steps of actually making it a habit you know like if you have something on the line, it’s going to help make that habit and then you’ll start reaching your goals and so what I want to ask you next is kind of a question I ask a lot of our guests and for us it’s been a big driving force forward is really figuring out what as a company, what was our massive transformative purpose or vision you know whatever you want to call it. But for you and EP Fitness what has been your massive transformative purpose?

 

Angus Burke: I think our role of purpose right now is that we are preventative health company, and I think that we really try to focus on companies lost work time to serve health issues, and really we want to make we try to do this obviously by personalized health coaching but really make it by engaging challenges, and they need to be fun, it needs to be like you said, it needs to be gamified, it needs to have that personal sort of touch at it. So really what is our purpose and vision is we want to be superior experts, and I think we are there in the online wellness space and providing really a modern and successful solution and I think that’s going to become more and more relevant as time passes here. So yes we looked at this phase of corporate wellness and sort of health professionals, we thought things could be not only sort of simplified but that things could be a little bit more efficient and generally this space is a little bit complicated you know there’s all sorts of… there are great things out there, I’m not saying you know those biometric screenings, and there is luncheon learns, and there’s maybe a trainer that comes to work but you know there has to be a personal… all the innovative wellness programs have to be personalized, and if we can do that by combining technology in an effective way then that’s effective, and that’s where we want to head. That’s what we’re doing right now, and we think as having that effective fitness like I was saying before the nutrition and accountability with a personalized approach is really our purpose.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: Perfect I’ve had a monster this year and I’ve done a few fairly good job of it, I’m getting better at it, I’ve made some good progress, but it was fitness first for me. You know I very busy you’ve got a couple of companies I run and podcasting and all this stuff treating patients five days a week and so I’d always you know if I had a two hour  block of time free of like ‘oh I can catch up on this business thing,’ but I really want to change the mindset was like look it’s fitness first, and then everything else comes later and it when I made that change in my head I realize that I was actually more productive when I was exercising, and I was feeling better, and I had more energy and all the different things that you need to produce at a high level really came from the fitness. So instead of actually eating my time you know people are like ‘I don’t have time to exercise,’ that’s really not the case you just aren’t prioritizing it but if you made fitness first and you got it accomplished then you’ll be amazed at the results that you’ll get and so that’s one of the big takeaways that I want to make sure that the audience has. I really appreciate a lot of the information today I think the key takeaways are you know obviously fitness is vital but you also have to add exercise into your daily routine otherwise it’s really not going to get the overall effects that you need. So what is one book, blogger, or website that you recommend for the desk worker?

 

Angus Burke: Yeah one website and resource I’ve been getting into recently is andygalvin.com and that actually just heard him on the Joe Rogan podcast and started digging a little deeper into some of his resources. He’s interesting as his mission really is to enhance, just quoting right off his website here is to enhance the human condition by providing the world with free entertaining health human performance and nutrition  education and some of that stuff relates to sort of the current sort of education system in terms of how we’re teaching people in the health and wellness field and really if it relates to all sorts of different sectors, but yes something I would recommend from desk worker if they’re looking for some easy free education information.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: Perfect that sounds great and then how can our desk jockeys find you or contact you and kind of get some more information?

 

Angus Burke: Yeah for sure our website epfitnessonline.com and my emails and is angus@epfitnesstrainer.com and then from there you’ll be able to, we’ve pretty a really good Instagram going on with our videos, recipes, salad recipes and all that good stuff, Facebook, Twitter blog all that stuff is linked to our website so if you’re interested you can contact us through there.

 

Dr. Kevin Christie: Perfect I really appreciate your time today and thank you for all the great advice you brought to our audience today.

 

Angus Burke: Awesome thanks a lot, Kevin.

 

Now that you have a better idea of how to improve your physical health while at work let’s take it a few steps further by subscribing to our show and visiting our website moderndeskjockey.com. You can find immediate tips, preventative measures and the resources we mentioned earlier to continue to improve your well-being while at work. Tune in next time for more healthy solutions for the desk worker here on The Modern Desk Jockey.

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