Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace: The Ekiden Run
We’ve all heard it before: sitting is the new smoking. And unfortunately, most desk jobs involve a lot of sitting down. So starting this summer, our HR department decided to launch a new initiative called “Health and Wellbeing at the Workplace”. One of the first activities on the program was participating in the Ekiden Run – a yearly relay marathon organized in Brussels for companies.
It was very important for us to get everyone running – there are quite a few people who love sports at Materialise, but we wanted to show even inexperienced runners that they could, and would, be able to run at least 5km by the end of the summer! We turned to Sportpraktijk, a sports organization in Leuven, to coach our employees (both beginners and advanced runners) in the months leading up to the Ekiden Run.
After more than a month of regular running sessions and lots of good advice on avoiding injuries from Sportpraktijk, it was time for the actual Ekiden Run on October 14. We ended up participating with 13 teams of six, with three runners doing 5km, two doing 10km and one doing 7km in each team.
Our fastest team achieved a final running time of 3:27:14 – but of course the most important thing was to participate, work together as a team, and get some exercise.
Taking advantage of the amazing weather, all runners and supporters were able to enjoy a barbecue and some refreshing drinks at the Materialise tent!
Many of our employees were surprised with what they had managed to accomplish. People who had never run a day in their life were proud to find out that their bodies were capable of so much more than they’d ever imagined.
Lieve Boeykens, our Market Developer New Businesses said:
“These last weeks of training and the run itself was one great teambuilding event for me, it created such a positive atmosphere and introduced me to colleagues I otherwise would never have been in contact with. I ran 5km in one go, which I have never done in my entire life.”
Even though the Ekiden Run is over, we hope everyone will continue to use what they learned from the experience and keep running in their free time. And there are still plenty of upcoming activities in store for our “Health and Wellbeing at the Workplace” initiative – stay tuned!