Make Your Office A Healthy One!

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Yes, there is this “hype” about work-life balance, healthy office, yoga classes, gym memberships or ergonomic workplaces for employees. Clearly, this “hype” also got triggered by research studies and is now at the top of Human Resources agendas in organizations. Promoting a healthy work culture is necessary in order to reduce sick leavings or serious health issues. Most recent figures of the motion study of Techniker Krankenkasse show for instance that every third adult suffers constantly or often from back pain. Furthermore, in regard to experts and numbers of German health insurances, approximately 13 Million employees are affected by burnout.

In order to address potential health problems and promote a healthy organisational culture with satisfied and fit employees, we organised for our Stylighter’s a “Healthy Week at Work” – offering a yoga class, a static and dynamic posture analysis as well as a modern nutrition talk.

However, let’s have a more detailed look into the course of the week: how was it perceived by our Stylighters? And what insights can our experts Heiko Höfner (Trainer at Fitness First sportstudio) and Andrea Falk (Lead of Sportkita Wirbelwind) share with us? Let’s reflect upon our dynamic and very exciting health week and figure out tactics to foster a healthy office culture!

DAY 1:
Our health week started on Monday with a “Fit at Work” session in our Atrium. Trainers and sport pants? No need for that! In this workshop we got to know several exercises which we can apply during our daily working in the office. How “deskercise” works? Obviously, not every workout can be done seated, for some you also need to stand up – but no anxiety: you will not start sweating and these simple stretches can be exercised by everyone (so, no excuse here!). We started for example with stretching our arms and legs, swinging our hips and circled our head and shoulders. These small movements should help us in future avoid back pain and release tension.

Aysha (Intern Brand Marketing NL/BE)
How did you like the session?
“The Fit @ Work Session was really helpful, especially the exercises you can do at your desk. Lisette (my supervisor) and I are doing (or at least planning on doing) them every day!”
What do you think should employers do to foster a healthy organisational culture?
“Offer healthy food like Stylight is doing (like the fruits and the smoothies). And maybe organize a Lunchtime Walk, just to exercise a little during lunch.”

DAY 2:
Our day two started with refreshing Frank Juices at our office. They do not only look healthy they also taste rich and fruity. After this healthy treatment we got re-energized and had a great start in the day!

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At 6.30pm a one hour of after work yoga session started. Our yoga mats were rolled out and we (tried to) replicate the exercises (and luxations 😉 ) the yoga trainer showed us. We stretched our bodies (who reaches the toes when seated and legs are outstretched?) or tested the flexibility of our fingers (those who type on the PC all day should definitely test their finger flexibility!). What we learned? Never forget to inhale and exhale during a yoga session. Yoga is not only a way to promote body flexibility and posture it also helps to increase your energy as well as control and focus on your breath. And by the way, men are also welcomed;)

Alberto (Interaction Designer Commercial)
What can you tell us after attending the Yoga session?
The yoga session was the most interesting thing I attended I didn’t think yoga could be so tough. I play rugby, but that evening every muscle of my body was hurting, I also really enjoyed the introspective part, I felt really relaxed, I was almost falling asleep without actually sleeping. I think this is what they call meditation 🙂 “
What do you recommend should employers do to foster a healthy organisational culture?
“Monthly discount at a gym would be cool, a shower in the office is the best an employer could do, this would allow the employees to go for a run in the lunch break. Create some kind of gamification around the sport would also be awesome. Running or cycling teams within the organization with a competition and a symbolic prize would engage more and more people.

DAY 3:
Wednesday was intended for an individual posture analysis. Trainer Heiko took 15 min for each employee who enrolled in order to analyse their posture as well as to outline advises for improvements.

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Indications for a poor posture can be painful and most people know it: tensions and pain in the shoulder and neck musculature or disbalances of the pelvis or feeds. He emphasised: “It is of great importance to find out muscular dysbalances in individuals. When realizing a bad posture, prophylactic actions with specific interventions can help to prevent more serious problems. Specific endurance and strength trainings as well as the right motivation and attitude may cause wonders!”

Pauline (Content Marketeer France)
How did you perceive the posture analysis?
“The posture analysis was really helpful as after making a diagnosis the coach was able to analyse which part of my body needed training in order to prevent more back/posture pain. It’s crazy how according to him, only a couple of exercises can dramatically improve your health at work.”
What would you suggest to foster a healthy organisational culture?
“I think companies should encourage employees to take part in collective sports events such as company races, it helps employees feeling more conformable and fosters team spirit. Having a good work-life balance also helps prevent burn outs.”

DAY 4:
During our lunch break the attention was directed towards the “modern nutrition talk” in our atrium. We learned to live a balanced diet, how to keep our energy in balance (stop to ravenous hunger!) and which fats are the good ones.

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Almost weekend – but no excuse for not attending the (very exhausting) freestyle training after work. This innovative interval training, in small groups was hard but very motivating. At frequent intervals we changed from one exercise to the next while training our complete body. Andrea, our trainer, outlined: “Freestyle training combines fun, motivation and efficiency – it motivates the group to go beyond its power limit. It can be implemented everywhere as it needs very little – or rather no larger equipments. The participants can go to their limits and are able to reduce their level of stress hormones.”

Sebastian (Software Engineer)
How did you like the Freestyle Training?
“The freestyle training was really cool to take part in as it really shows you in which areas you’re lacking. As I’m regularly hitting the gym, the shoulder-exercises were for example a no brainer, but the cardio exercises showed me my body’s limits. Besides the cold facts, it was just real fun to team up for this event and do some sports together. A great thing to escape the autumn-mindset!”
What do you think should employers offer to foster a healthy organisational culture?
“Flexible working hours as we have here at Stylight, to better adapt gym/sport to work-life. Also, healthy snacks, e.g. fruits. In addition, foster a healthy culture by offering sport classes, financial support for gym/club-memberships as well as support ‘active’ team-events.”

 

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DAY 5:
To close the health week, a small body stability check was arranged for the last day. Within only 30 seconds, we were able to check our body symmetry and sensomotoric function. The results gave us an exact indication of your physical fitness.

Thanks to all for this very exciting health week! Clearly, this week calls for a repetition! Obviously – without healthy and fit employees it would be hard to follow our mission and “Make style happen.”

|By Fabienne Marx – Talent & Employee Management Intern|

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