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This Covent Garden café lets you pay for lunch with a 10-minute workout

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Dolly Parton famously nailed the problem of our 9-to-5 lifestyles when she crooned that we were “barely getting by”, but the country music star failed to mention the fact that the average office worker spends 90% of their working day sat down and not moving. That’s, ooh, about seven hours a day – and a whopping 65.3 days out of the entire year.

Throw in all the lunches we hastily gobble at our desks (who has time to stop working for a full lunch hour?) and you have a pretty big problem; we’re putting a strain on our spines, preventing our lungs from getting enough oxygen, and hurting both our bodies and our minds.

In a bid to combat this. and to remind us of the important relationship between healthy eating and exercise, a major gym brand has launched a new pop-up café in London, which gives customers the chance to ‘pay’ for their lunch via a sweat-inducing micro workout.

That’s right; there’s no tills or contactless payment docks whatsoever. Instead, there’s nothing but treadmills, spin bikes, and rowing machines - and the innovative establishment has been aptly named Run For Your Bun.


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As soon as you arrive at the David Lloyd Clubs-designed café, you’ll be asked to select one of the delicious lunchtime meals from their menu.

Think smashed avocado, goats cheese, chilli and lime on toasted wholemeal bread, or a cous cous salad packed with juicy vegetables.

If neither of those takes your fancy, you can sink your teeth into a chicken breast burger, a smoked salmon pitta pocket, or a grilled halloumi sandwich.

However, before you get your mitts on your food, you’ll be asked to complete an HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session.

On paper, it sounds pretty feasible; one-minute on a rowing machine, one minute on a spin bike and one minute on a treadmill, as well as 60-seconds of sit-ups, bodyweight squats and lunges, with 30-second rest periods between each exercise.

Okay, it sounds exhausting – but the effects are well worth it.

Not only will it get oxygen pumping through your poor, desk-anchored body, but it also promises to tone the muscles and burn calories long after your workout has ended.


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Once your ‘payment’ is complete, you can decide whether you’d like to eat your free lunch in the café itself, or take it away… ideally to somewhere other than your desk.

The science behind Run For Your Bun is pretty sound, to be honest; research has long shown that exercise is good for us – and that our bodies are built for motion, not a sedentary lifestyle.

But, if you don’t have time to fit in a long bout of physical activity each day, there’s hope: even just taking five-minute walks every hour will help unravel the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and help us to live longer, healthier lives.


Read more: The best walking routes to explore from the city with no need for a car


The cafe is going to be open from Wednesday 11 – Friday 13 January and located at 3 Slingsby Place, Covent Garden.

You can book a place for you and your colleagues or friends via the Billetto website – just don’t forget to bring your gym kit.

Images: David Lloyd Centre

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