2020-04-09

Staying fit despite the crisis

Where possible, employees from many companies are currently working from home due to the coronavirus. But, "If you rest, you rust". When there is no daily office commute and the gyms are closed, a lack of exercise turns into a health threat. Still, everyone can do something to stay fit without much effort.

The coronavirus pandemic has the world firmly in its grip. "Keep your distance" is helping to minimize the risk of infection as much as possible and slowing down the rise in the curve of the newly infected. It is impacting our private lives, but our work lives as well: many KION employees have now been working from home for weeks. It comes with a potential health threat when you work from home but do not exercise.

In an interview with the German daily, FAZ*, sports medicine specialist Rüdiger Reer from the University of Hamburg advises individuals to avoid too little exercise, sitting too much and eating unhealthy food. Sitting for long periods of time affects muscle activity, puts strain on the intervertebral discs, impairs blood circulation and the oxygen supply to all organs. Fewer calories are burned, the body tires more quickly and it becomes harder to concentrate. Too many pounds put an enormous strain on your heart and circulation, being overweight is considered a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases and damages the blood vessels throughout the body and the risk of diabetes is greatly increased.

In addition to an ergonomic work space, it is also important to integrate as much exercise as possible into the daily home office routine, especially in times of limited mobility. Reer recommends getting up from your workplace every half hour. Exercises at home or outdoor sports are also options. Exercise is good for loosening the back, shoulder and neck muscles and prevents tension. Exercise keeps the heart and circulation fit and can help lower blood pressure and reduce or maintain your weight. Exercise can also make us happy; when we our performance goes up, we reward ourselves with the release of happiness hormones.

Hints and suggestions for exercising at home can be found in abundance on the web or are available free of charge in a multitude of apps. Here are some of our own favorite tips:

Exercise tips in times of Corona*

  • Pay attention to your posture when seated: experts recommend “dynamic sitting”. In contrast to static sitting, the back is in motion as much as possible, changing from the front, upright and rear sitting posture to prevent back pain.
  • When you can, plan exercising at your desk. Beginning with your head circling, moving on to your shoulders, arms and hands circling and ending with the “chest opener”, folding the hands behind the back and bending to the right and left. When sitting, you can also occasionally rotate the spine or tilt the pelvis from front to back.
  • Do some gymnastic exercises regularly. You don't need much space. The best place to do them is on the balcony or with the window open for fresh air. Health scientists refer to numerous exercises that help employees not only develop muscle strength, but also stamina, coordination and mobility:

    • Your forearm support impacts the entire body.
    • Push-ups and knee bends also help to train muscle strength.
    • The lateral lunge or the forward bend also support mobility.
    • Jumping jacks demand stamina.
    • Standing on one leg or counter-rotating your arms, in contrast, improve coordination.

  • Do your shopping or other unavoidable errands on foot or by taking your bike.
  • As long as no curfew is in place, grab every opportunity to go outside. Go for walks, runs, or cycling.
  • If there are stairs in your house or apartment, walk up and down them several times a day.
  • Yoga exercises also do not take up much space and are perfect for maintaining or strengthening your fitness.
  • If you have a garden, go outside and get some physical work: Chop wood, dig up beds, plant or move bushes.

Our KION claim is "We keep the world moving" and the best way to ensure this claim is to keep ourselves moving. Keep yourself and your families fit and healthy!

* Sources:

- https://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/mehr-wirtschaft/corona-krise-home-office-wird-zu-todesfaellen-fuehren-16698308.html
- https://media.t3n.de/redaktion/homeofficeguide/t3n_Homeoffice_Guide.pdf, p. 24 f.
- https://www.pronovabkk.de/gesundheit/trotz-homeoffice-ausreichend-bewegung.html

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