“Fit for Your Shift” – Highly Effective Prevention

Burghausen, Oct 21, 2019

More than 700 WACKER Burghausen employees have participated in the “Fit for Your Shift” program. An initiative of WACKER Health Services, it has achieved many long-term successes since 2013. Half of the participants have increased their level of physical activity. More than a third cope better with sleeping disorders. Nearly two-thirds have changed their diet. Other notable improvements include blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The nine-month program has four phases, which sensitize employees to the issue of health – so that they stay fit longer for work and its increased challenges. The program, for example, motivates employees who tend to avoid sport or neglect their diet. It also encourages employees who are more health conscious, suggesting how they can keep their fitness level stable.

  • “Fit for Your Shift” starts with a Health Week in a rehabilitation clinic. After a medical checkup, the week continues with sport and relaxation exercises, as well as seminars and lectures about diets and healthy living.
  • In the next three months, the participants have an “outpatient” phase, integrating what they have learned into both work and private life. This second phase ends with further sports sessions and activities on diet, sleep, relaxation and stress management.
  • The next half-year is a self-guidance phase, when employees implement recommendations themselves.
  • The program ends with a refresher weekend in the clinic.

At a physiotherapy session – part of the “Fit for Your Shift” program.

WACKER gives employees leave for all four phases. The costs are borne by the company and the German statutory pension insurer (Deutsche Rentenversicherung). After the success of the “Fit for Your Shift” program, Health Services have expanded the circle of participants beyond production staff to skilled manual workers, logistics staff and certified industrial forepersons.

The general purpose is to improve the participants’ physical condition. Specific goals are weighted according to an employee’s needs. Key points are to enhance stamina through cardiovascular training and to increase mobility. As for diet, healthy eating should become the norm. Another important point is how to cope better with physical exertion at work. “With all these factors in focus, Health Services helps employees remain fit for their jobs,” says Dr. Ursula Bailer, a WACKER physician.

“We are really pleased about our prevention program’s medical successes,” says WACKER’s Dr. Jürgen Commeßmann, head of Health Services. “We have received so much enthusiastic feedback over the last five years.”

The results of “Fit for Your Shift” so far:

  • 49 percent of the participants have increased their level of physical activity
  • 62 percent have a healthier diet
  • 44 percent have reduced their weight long-term (due to the program’s goals of a healthier diet and a more active life, which reduce weight as an indirect goal)
  • 35 percent of the participants are sleeping better
  • 62 percent have lowered their blood pressure
  • 33 percent have lowered their total cholesterol levels
  • 49 percent have improved their LDL cholesterol values

Both in the mid- and long-term, participants have said that their way of life has become much healthier. WACKER’s Health Services will continue its highly effective prevention program – not only with “Fit for Your Shift,” but now also with “Fit for Your Workshop” and “Fit for Your Role as Foreperson.”


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Wacker Chemie AG
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Petra Hettich

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