Get moving! Finding that work-sport balance 17 Jan 2019

by Robin Nierynck

Get moving! Finding that work-sport balance


While New Year’s resolutions are not necessarily known for being the most successful targets, there are some strong arguments as to why people who vow to exercise (more) should stick to their guns.

The physical and mental benefits of doing sports are immense; exercising makes you more productive, less stressed, happier, and of course comes with a long list of health benefits, including a stronger immune system, improved cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure.

Studies have shown that another long-term benefit of regular exercise is that, as employees are healthier, they take noticeably fewer sick days. We were proud to record our lowest ever sick rate in 2018, and we’re committed to keeping our Heroes happy and healthy.

Finding that work-life-sport balance

Although combining sports with work life can be a challenge, we’re always looking for ways to make a healthy life more accessible. With a number of on and offsite sporting opportunities, there’s always an activity to take part in at our Berlin HQ – from novice to seasoned athlete.

Last year’s sports events included Table Tennis Olympics, Kicker Tournament, beach volleyball, FIFA, soccer, and company runs. With over 500 attendees at the sports events and many more taking part in our running challenges, the initiatives were a great success and we are excited about what’s in the pipeline.

And there’s more than just the table tennis and kicker tables in the office. Aside from our company sport events, our Heroes have access to free yoga lessons, discounted gym memberships, and we run a partnership with Gympass, which offers sport opportunities all over Berlin.

But don’t take our word for it. Three of our Heroes shared their experiences of combining sports and work, the benefits of exercise, and the unexpected friendships that come with it.

Aristoteles Lefas

What kind of sport do you do?
I play football in one of the Delivery Hero teams. I am the captain and it is my pleasure to help organizing the team. We play a match every Wednesday, as part of the Urban Sports Club tournament. We play against different companies, in a tiered system depending on your level. Right now we’re in the toughest level because we won the Challenger’s League last season.

Aristoteles Lefas (2nd from the left, back row) is Manager, Global Payment Operations

Why did you take part?
Because I like football! I joined the team about three years ago, around the same time that I joined Delivery Hero. There are people from all over the company in the team. Players will bring along new joiners or colleagues. We currently have a pool of 15 players in our team so we’re pretty full up at the moment! We also organised a Delivery Hero League last year together with our employee experience team and it was a massive success, with 18 teams competing.

What are the benefits of exercising in your experience?
When you exercise you feel better. And I also enjoy the competitiveness – we like winning! But even when we lose at least we have some beers with the team afterwards.
You play together with people from different departments and you form bonds with people you might otherwise never meet, which creates a great company environment. It’s like a small family, if you play with people for over 2 years you really make lasting friendships.

Kaja Mueller

How do you combine work and sport?
I organize an office sports group. We meet every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in front of the office and then go to Monbijou park down the road. We do high intensity interval training, which means you exercise with your bodyweight, and in between we also do some cardio, like running around the park. Nowadays there is a freeletics court, but we used to just use the park benches and so on. I took on the role of organizer a while back, although it can be difficult to combine work, family and sports. But if you want to make it happen you find a way.

Why this type of exercise?
The advantages of high intensity interval training are that you build up strength, train particular muscles in a continuous way and burn calories fast. Combined with cardio it’s also great for the heart and to improve fitness.
The fitness levels of participants can be at totally different levels but we always look after each other. It’s very motivational if you’re all in it together. Besides the sports stuff it’s really nice to get to know people on a different level, including people you wouldn’t usually come into contact with.

Kaja Mueller is Senior Manager, People Tech

Can anyone join?
I would love for more people to get involved! You just need to be willing to put in the work. Obviously not everyone can commit to three days a week, and that’s fine. It gives you a good routine. And we’re thinking of doing something over lunch break as well, maybe a running group. Even though it’s winter now, I’m generally of the opinion there is no bad weather, just bad clothing. But we do train in the office basement in the colder months.

Juliane Wegner

What are the yoga classes exactly?
The 60 minute Delivery Hero yoga sessions take place every Wednesday throughout the whole year at an external venue. The lessons are for free and we change teachers from time to time, which also gives employees the possibility to try out different styles.

Why do you take part?
Yoga gives me the chance to take time for myself, my body and my mind. It is my weekly hour of time off directly after work, where I can improve my body strength and flexibility as well as give my mind the chance not to think about anything else but the movement and breathing. I love the combination of the athletic and meditative component, which I personally only find in yoga. Also, our yoga teachers make every lesson a great experience and it’s really nice to get to know other employees this way – that also makes it a bit of a bonding time with colleagues.

What are the benefits of exercising in your experience?
I can feel how my body strength, flexibility, posture and awareness have increased since I started doing yoga. I hated it at first because I thought I needed a super exhausting full-body workout rather than a yoga session. But the more often I went, the more I started appreciating every hour and the feeling after the session. Yoga also helped me to focus more on my mind, my breathing and on the necessity of taking time for myself.

Juliane Wegner is Specialist, Health & Benefits