Last Monday, the first PauseXpress had twelve participants. PauseXpress is the name of a concept aiming at getting employees to be more active. An experiment started in the Leeuwenborgh to test whether this form of activity will catch on with WUR employees. The first impression of the participants is positive.
© Sven Menschel
The concept of PauseXpress is simple: during your coffee or tea break, you partake in two or three exercises together with your several colleagues for about eight minutes. It passes like a flash, you have been active before you know it – and all that without breaking a sweat, according to the initiators. The concept is very popular in Germany, says Ingi Alofs. She is one of the sports instructors at sports centre De Bongerd. According to her, the trend is slowly taking over the Netherlands as well: ‘The PauseXpress has already been introduced at Maastricht University and has met with great enthusiasm.’
More than expected
The first workout in the basement of the Leeuwenborgh was a success, if only in terms of turnout. Alofs assumed no more than ten people would show up, but she had a group of twelve to guide. The exercises require various attributes. Xcos were used during this session, which look like oblong vacuum flasks (see photo). When used for exercises, they could best be compared to a bottle with water that you swing around. The counteraction of the water makes your muscles work for it.
The Xcos used for the exercises. © Sven Menschel
And the participants could feel that. Dea Schneider, secretary at Wageningen Economic Research, regrets the workout only lasted eight minutes. ‘I wouldn’t have minded had it been longer. And I have indeed not broken a sweat yet, which is a nice bonus.’ Schneider had signed up out of curiosity. ‘This is a lot of fun. I will try to convince people around me as well. The entire group is about sixty people and I don’t expect I’ll get everyone to come, but perhaps half of them will.’
Bob Mulder also participated. He is lecturer in Strategic Communication, and he enjoyed PauseXpress much more than he had expected. ‘It really refreshes and gets your blood flowing.’ But would he try to get others to come along? ‘Not really; I wouldn't want to be the guy who tries to get other people to be more active.’
The idea is for employees to start being active during their breaks on their own. Sports instructor Ingi Alofs will visit once every fortnight to show new exercises. On the remaining days, it will be up to the captains to motivate their colleagues and help them with the exercises. Alofs will provide the captains with specific instructions to help them on their way.
PauseXpress will be held in the basement of the Leeuwenborgh until the summer of 2018.