Sitting at your desk for eight hours while staring at a monitor – many EUR employees don’t have the healthiest work. In an effort to get EUR employees off their bottoms, Erasmus Sports and the university’s HRM department are launching Vitaal@Work (Fit@Work) this Thursday, allowing EUR employees to get some exercise without even having to leave their workplace.

The members of the Executive Board were the first guinea pigs to receive instruction from Erasmus Sports trainer Zev de Raad at the Vitaal@Work kick-off on Thursday morning. Due to a lack of time, the yoga mats and medicine ball were not used this time round, but the board members stretched, straightened their limbs and squeezed their bottoms for all they were worth.

Not entirely free from danger

vitaal at work kickoff college van bestuur (6)
Sincere apologies after the “incident involving glasses”

It soon transpired that this form of training was not entirely free from danger when board member Bart Straatman, a very enthusiastic participant, accidentally knocked off a colleague’s glasses, thankfully without serious consequences. For her part, Chairwoman of the Board Kristel Baele had no difficulty performing the exercises. “I’m already getting a fair amount of exercise. Mainly yoga, and I’ll go for the odd walk.”

Now that the programme has kicked off, other EUR employees are free to sign up. “We are trying to keep everyone fit in an easy-access manner,” Erasmus Sports’ Kyra van Leeuwen explained. “By getting people not to sit still all day, but rather to move in various ways.” She said similar programmes have been introduced at German universities. “And they’re a huge hit over there!”

“No sloshing armpits”

Groups of three to eight colleagues are encouraged to sign up with Vitaal@Work. Once they have done so, a trainer will show up at their workplace once, twice or thrice a week, equipped with rubber bands, dumbbells and yoga mats. The exact nature of the training sessions is determined in advance in consultation with the employees. Staff can set their own goals, and their personal trainer will help them achieve these goals. He or she will also provide handy tips and exercises people can do on their own during the rest of the week. “You won’t need to change your clothes and you won’t have sloshing armpits for the rest of the day,” Van Leeuwen reassuringly pointed out. “Although you may bring a change of shirt if you prefer that.”