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Our Lifestyle – Bridging Work and Leisure

Kicking off the new year, on January 25, the next event of the European Initiative Healthy Lifestyle at Work & Home took place. Representatives from politics, sports, business, and health associations gathered at the FSV Frankfurt club museum to discuss how to integrate a healthy lifestyle into both work and leisure, and how companies can support their employees in this endeavor.

The workshop was opened by Dr. Horst Heitz, Chairman of the Coordination Committee of SME Connect. He introduced the initiative and invited all participants to join the network to collectively make a greater impact.

The event was organized by Srita Heide, founder of Heide International, Leadership Advisory; Delegate and Member of the Consultative Committee on Industrial Change for the European Economic and Social Committee. In her welcome address, she emphasized the importance of keeping older employees fit, especially in times of skilled labor shortages and increasing working life spans. Companies need to keep up with the times and excel in work-life balance to attract young professionals.

Dr. Ralf-Norbert Bartelt, Deputy Chairman and Health Policy Spokesperson of the Hessian CDU Parliamentary Group, highlighted the critical importance of health prevention and promotion. He stressed the need for a holistic approach to prevent mental illnesses and, notably, burnout.

Patrick Wind, co-founder and CEO of the Burnout Network, pointed out the rising number of burnout cases and the associated long absences and costs for companies. He underscored the importance of prevention, which can not only prevent much suffering but also help society and companies avoid high follow-up costs.

Stephan Siegler, Board Member of FSV Frankfurt and Health Manager of the Frankfurt Police, emphasized the importance of sports clubs for all age groups. To motivate companies to provide more support and cooperation, especially in releasing urgently needed volunteer trainers, new creative solutions and more support from politicians are required.

Naturally, topics such as weight control and healthy eating were also of great importance at this event. Laura Brog, Supervisor of Corporate Communications at Herbalife (DACH), presented the company’s commitment to research and projects aimed at combating lifestyle diseases. She emphasized the importance of considering everyday challenges in pursuing sports and healthy eating.

All participants agreed that the SME Connect Initiative “Healthy Lifestyle at Work & Home” health network is an important platform for exchanging experiences, strengthening competencies, and pooling resources.

Other participants included:

H.E. B. S. Mubarak, Consul General of India, and Mark Rosenberg, Managing Director of the Rosenberg Ayurveda Academy, stressed that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for a healthier lifestyle and diet. However, they were pleased that yoga is gaining popularity, as it can be easily incorporated into daily life and especially in companies.