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Chemnitz University Focuses on Employee Health

In cooperation with Techniker Krankenkasse, a three year long workplace health management project is set to begin on July 1, 2018

Working conditions that promote health have become an important competitive factor in the higher education sector, especially considering the growing demands of digitalization in the workplace.  Individuals looking to begin their careers at a higher education institution therefore pay particular attention to their overall working environment and consider, along with teaching and research opportunities, what their employer can offer in the domain of health promotion. With this in mind, Chemnitz University of Technology and Techniker Krankenkasse (TK, a health insurance provider) will launch a three year long workplace health management project on July 1, 2018. “The primary goal of all project members is the long-term sustainability and further enhancement of employee productivity at Chemnitz University and to establish our university as a health-promoting institution,” says Kristin Röhr, Director of the Centre for Sports and Health Promotion at Chemnitz University.

Healthy Work-Life Balance

The project places particular focus on cultivating a “Healthy Work-Life Balance.” To this end, the steering committee builds on the three pillars of workplace health management: implementing activities to promote health, occupational integration management and occupational safety.  “It is very important to create the appropriate structures in order to remain focused on the topic of health and to counteract workplace stresses,” says Anja Bahn, TK Chemnitz Director of Customer Service, to summarize the project partners’ goals.

“The course of action at Chemnitz University will receive research-based support. We have planned an evaluation of baseline conditions via a university-wide survey and we will subsequently derive appropriate measures based on the results.  In addition, we have planned the implementation of these measures and further monitoring of our successes,” reports Röhr. “Conceivable measures include, for example, special trainings for management staff members on individual topics like stress management or communication, or professional development in occupational integration management,” adds Bahn.

From Exercise Courses to a Special Event Dedicated to Health

Chemnitz University and TK have a long history of cooperation in the domains of employee and student health promotion and management.  TK provides support via various activities, interventions and event modules. Employees of Chemnitz University can take advantage of TK funding support for exercise courses at the Centre for Sports and Health Promotion (like pilates, relaxation trainings, or specific back-strengthening exercises). In addition, university students receive encouragement and information regarding health-promoting behavior. For instance, students have the opportunity to visit special stress management courses to learn strategies for coping with rising pressure to perform. Moreover, through the “Bewegt studieren – Studieren bewegt” project from the German University Sports Federation (ADH), specially trained staff lead students in active breaks during their seminars and lectures.

On June 27, 2018, Chemnitz University organized the “Tag der Gesundheit” event with TK.  Visitors could obtain information about various topics pertaining to health, have physical measurements taken, hear lectures about nutrition, test out exercise courses and sample smoothies. During the event, Prof. Dr. Maximilian Eibl, Vice President for Academic and International Affairs at Chemnitz University, and Thomas Holm, Director of Health Management at Techniker Krankenkasse, signed the cooperation agreement.

University Health Management Gains Traction

“Outside of this project, many members have been working for a long time to establish the core areas of workplace health management at Chemnitz University,” says Röhr. Along with the Centre for Sports and Health Promotion, this includes the Human Resources Department, the Office of Occupational Safety and Environmental Protection and representatives from the university’s faculties. Just recently, on May 30, these groups met with representatives of TK and the Chemnitz branch of ias Aktiengesellschaft at an event to kick off the university’s health management. “At the meeting, we got an idea of the current situation at Chemnitz University, defined goals and formulated our next action steps. We are planning to hold information events at the faculties soon,” reports Röhr.

Centre for Sports and Health Promotion at Chemnitz University Homepage: https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/usz/

More information is available from Kristin Röhr, Tel.: +49 371 531-38434, E-mail: kristin.roehr@hsw.tu-chemnitz.de, and TK Contact Thomas Richter, Tel.: +49 151 46181121, E-mail: thomas.richter-1@tk.de

(Translation: Sarah Wilson)

Matthias Fejes
29.06.2018

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