Campus - 22.10.2021 - 00:00 

HSG Health Days rethink performance

This week, the HSG Health Days took place for the second time, under the motto of “thinking health differently – rethinking performance”. For three days, participants encountered the topic of “sustainable performance” at a wide variety of events and were also able to reflect on their own health. By student reporter Sven Schumann.

22 October 2021. At the HSG Health Days, which took place from 18-20 October 2021, a joint project team of Unisport and the Counselling and Psychological Services focussed on the issue of performance. This second edition of the project again offered a many-faceted programme, which extended throughout the campus and inspired participants with varied workshops, activities and lectures. Besides the main organisations named above, the organisers also included associations and initiatives such as Pride Month@HSG, proArte, the Mensa restaurant and oikos. This involvement of as many campus initiatives as possible is something that co-organiser Mark Laukamm wants to be further extended in the next few years. In this way, the Health Days could become more widely known and become a proper institution on the campus.

Redefining performance

This year, the Health Days took place under the motto of “thinking health differently – rethinking performance”. This motto thus homes in on the idea of performance, which has very strong roots in our society. Universities, and the HSG in particular, make pretty high demands on students, too, so that many of them feel under great pressure to perform. According to Mark Laukamm, this is a development which was also reflected in the active use of the psychological and counselling services of all universities. Therefore this year’s motto aims to provide a new perspective on the issue of performance. Only those who make sustainable use of their physical and mental resources would be able to achieve peak performance in the long run. An apposite metaphor was heard time and again during the week: professional life is not a sprint, but a long-distance run. Those who set off at too great a speed will run out of steam halfway through.

Varied programme

To familiarise participants with the issue, there were more than twenty different programme points in the course of the three days. Thus lectures with titles such as “Healthy Working Life” or “Burnout and sustainable performance” were given and physical activities such as yoga took place. Gourmets had an opportunity to participate in a culinary workshop and were able to enjoy a vegan menu in the Mensa. For the lectures, the organisers were able to avail themselves of the services of Dr. med. Doris Straus (“Burnout and sustainable performance”) and Dr. Sigrid von Manitius (“Why we sleep”), who based their talks on their wealth of knowledge and experience.

Those who were more interested in their own physical and mental health also struck it rich. On Monday and Tuesday, they could have their own health tested in the foyer of the Library Building. Students of the Joint Medical Master measured participants’ values and vital signs such as their body mass index, blood pressure, blood oxygen level and blood glucose level – a service which aroused a great deal of interest, as the occasionally lengthy queues in the foyer testified. The last station of the health check consisted in testing one’s own stress level, which was done by means of a questionnaire. Those who realised that they were suffering from a raised stress level had the option of making an appointment for a personal meeting with the stress advisers of the Counselling and Psychological Services. This service then enables participants to work out individual methods for coping with stress with professional help.

Health is many-faceted

Co-organiser Eva Koller considers the Health Days to have been a success. The services were well received by students, which was evidenced by positive feedback and the number of participants. Only very few services had to be cancelled owing to a lack of registrations. Eva Koller hopes that the Health Days could be staged with such a varied programme again next year, for “health is often shelved, but is actually so wide and varied, and sometimes it takes curiosity and courage to try out something new.”

What hopefully remains of the three eventful days is a new perspective on participants’ own performance capability and an increased awareness of the many people and initiatives that care for the health of us members of the University.

Sven Schumann is studying International Affairs in the 5th semester at the University of St.Gallen.

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