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Health care services and addiction prevention

Healthcare services

Height-adjustable desks

Since 2018, employees who

  • are predominantly engaged in sedentary work
  • are employed at least 75%
  • have an employment contract of at least 2 years and 

can order a height-adjustable desk.

Here's how it works:

  • Fill in the request form of the Finance and Controlling Department.
  • Send it to: Hana Valovy, Human Resources Department, Box 224; she will check your contract situation and, if everything fits, forward your application to the Finance and Controlling Department.
  • The desk is then ordered via Purchasing and you will be informed as soon as it arrives in the house.

By the way: The stand of a height-adjustable desk is 1.60 m x 0.80 m and available in the colours maple, beech and grey. If you need further information, please contact Marco Stühlke (Purchasing, Finance and Controlling Department): marco.stuehlke@uni.kn; -2401).

Prolonged sitting and health hazards

Prolonged sitting has been a concern of the health sciences for some time. It is common knowledge that the human body is not designed for sitting postures. However, the long-term consequences of so-called sedentary behaviour have not been researched for a long time. Nevertheless, it is clear that sitting for long periods without interruption is a major health risk, and not only for the neck, shoulders and the like.

The internal organs also suffer from reduced blood circulation, which can have serious consequences in the long term. Prolonged sitting promotes e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or even the development of mental illnesses.

It is still unclear to what extent compensatory sport in leisure time can compensate for the impairment caused by long, uninterrupted sitting. Some researchers have even gone so far to call sitting the new smoking.

Anyone who spends a lot of time at a desk is in any case exposed to a constant health hazard. Jan-Philipp Lange, a research assistant in Prof. Dr. Martina Kanning's Social and Health Sciences group and a member of the Healthy University working group, is currently investigating how this presents itself and what can be done about it. In his study, he is examining the sitting behaviour of office workers (e.g. at the University of Konstanz) and developing individually appropriate, effective intervention measures.

In his presentation on 17.01.2019, he presented the first results from his study. You can find the presentation on the right (please log in).

Headache and migraine

Science knows 367 types of headache. Migraine and tension headaches are the most common.

According to the study "KopfHoch - Kopfschmerz & MIgräne an der Hochschule kompetent vorbeugen" (HeadUp - Competet prevention of headache & migraine at University) by the Kiel Pain Clinic and ZIES gGmbH, a large proportion of students and university employees regularly suffer from headaches. For example, a sample of 1,108 employees of the TU Dresden, the HU Berlin and the FH Kiel were surveyed. 66 percent of the respondents stated that they had suffered from headaches in the last three months.

  • more information about headache types
  • an explanatory film
  • articles
  • apps
  • a guidebook

can be found on the websites Kopfschmerzwissen (only German), headache-hurts(only German) and spektrum.de (only German).

Healthcare services

All the statutory and most of the private health insurance providers offer their customers a range of free check-ups as part of their early cancer recognition programmes. Their aim is to discover (potential) tumours early on, perhaps even before cancer develops.

Take advantage of these free programmes and watch out for your own health and well-being!

The German brochure on cancer recognition programmes, Krebsvorsorgeuntersuchungen, lists which check-ups you should have done at specific ages. The latest version will be published here soon.

Occupational health during a pregnancy and while nursing

Occupational health is particularly important for expectant and nursing mothers, in order to protect their own health and that of their children. All expectant and nursing mothers who work are covered by maternity protection (Mutterschutz) legislation and occupational health measures.

The law requires pregnant and nursing women be given access to a room to rest in. At the university, this is room K 501 which is below the canteen.

Advice and support for (expectant) parents

Addiction prevention

Official Agreement on Dealing with Employees at Risk of Alcohol and Drug Dependency

The Rectorate and the staff council signed an Official Agreement on Dealing with Employees at Risk of Alcohol and Drug Dependency in 2002. The agreement focuses on alcohol, medication or drug use, in particular.

It also pursues the goal of supporting employees to overcome a dependency in order to maintain or restore their health and ability to work respectively.

The agreement provides supervisors with a step-by-step intervention plan.

Read the Official Agreement and attachment.

Breaking an addiction

Points of contact in the region

The following organisations provide competent, confidential support with breaking an addiction (all pages in German):

  • Suchtberatung Konstanz provided by the AGJ-Fachverband für Prävention und Rehabilitation in der Erzdiözese Freiburg e.V.
  • Fachstelle Sucht from the Baden-Württembergischen Landesverband für Prävention und Rehabilitation gGmbH

Information for persons at risk of/with an addiction and their families

The Smoke-Free University Directive

On 31 May 2007, the University of Konstanz celebrated World No Tobacco Day by declaring itself a smoke-free university in order to sustainably protect the health of all its members.

The smoke-free areas include all university buildings, their balconies and patios as well as all outdoor areas of the internal courtyards. Read the Smoke-Free University Directive.

In addition, the university installed covered outdoor smoking pavilions to reduce the amount of smoke entering nearby rooms.

Since 2014, the University of Konstanz has taken its efforts a step further: The university has instated smoke-free zones in areas outside buildings where smoke would otherwise tend to blow into these buildings (e.g. in front of the main entrances).

Smokers are free to use areas outside these zones. Areas where smoking is permitted include the space by the bike racks/foundation stone in between the main entrances as well as under the awning in the inner courtyard.

Smoking cessation

Smoking cessation services in the region (all pages in German)

There are additional service providers in the region as well as many health insurance providers that all offer their own smoking cessation courses.

Information services

Visit the following websites (all in German) for further information about smoking and protecting the health of non-smokers:

Staying healthy is always in season!

Check out our information and tips on seasonal health topics.

Spring health topic: Protecting yourself from diseases spread by ticks

Five urban myths about ticks

Myth #1: Ticks drop off trees.

No, they can be anywhere. Ticks can live in forests and meadows as well as in urban areas and at altitudes up to 2,000 metres above sea level. They also don’t drop off trees onto people, but instead are brushed off by people and animals as they walk by the plants they are sitting on.

Myth #2: You can only get a tick bite in the summer.

No, ticks’ most active season is from March through October. Ticks are active at temperatures at or above +7°C. So, they can even be out and about in February or December.

Sometimes tick bites go unnoticed, which can have negative effects on your health, since ticks can carry dangerous diseases like tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and borreliosis.

Myth #3: You can protect yourself from ticks.

Yes, you actually can take action to protect yourself from being bitten by ticks. For example, you can:

  • wear protective clothing: shoes that completely cover your feet, long-sleeved tops, long trousers as well as socks you pull up to cover your pant legs. Clothing that is light in colour also makes it easier to spot the dark colour of a tick.
  • check your skin for ticks: After spending time outdoors, check your skin for ticks.
  • use tick repellents: Several tick repellents can be applied to your skin that usually last between four and six hours.
  • get a tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) immunisation (called FSME in Germany): TBE is a viral disease for which there is nor direct therapy but an immunisation.

Myth #4: You can get immunisations for tick-borne diseases.

Yes, this is partially true. You can get an immunisation for tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), but not for borreliosis.

TBE is a viral disease that can infect your meninges or your brain and can result in neuroparalysis. There is no direct therapy for TBE, however you can get an immunisation. If you choose to get an immunisation, please note that the immunisation dates vary depending on the vaccine and you will need to get a regular booster immunisation. Many areas of Germany pose a high-risk of getting TBE, which is why we recommend getting the immunisation.

Borreliosis is a bacterial infection that targets your meninges or your brain and can result in neuroparalysis. Often, the skin around the tick bite can redden, but you can still have borreliosis, even if this does not happen. If you discover the tick early on and remove it correctly, this goes a long way to preventing an infection. There is no immunisation available for borreliosis. Borreliosis is sometimes difficult to identify which is why it is important to protect yourself from getting tick bites - especially if you live in a region where you are at high risk of getting the infection.

Myth #5: Ticks can be removed with oil.

No, you should never use oils, adhesives or similar products to remove ticks, because these will cause the ticks to release even more pathogens.

Ticks should always be removed correctly. This means that you should use either tweezers or a tick remover card to pull out the tick carefully without bending or crushing it. Please disinfect the bite afterwards. If part of the tick gets stuck in your skin, the bite looks infected or turns red, then please contact a medical professional for help.

Summer health topic: Did you know that the amount you drink impacts how well you can think?

For example, would you have thought that...

  • ...when you drink too little, you can’t concentrate as well or do your best work and that these effects last into the following two days?
  • ...dehydration harms your ability to understand complex relationships, memorise and remember things?
  • ...you only feel thirsty after you have already lost more than .5% of your body’s weight in water?
  • ...your body loses about 2.5 litres of liquid through perspiration, breathing and digestion each day?
  • ...you can’t store up water in your body by drinking more, because your body simply disposes of the unneeded water?
  • ...water isn’t just water and it can vary significantly in quality?

Read on for more information and tips on drinking enough.

The most important details in a single PDF-file.

Autumn health topic: It’s autumn - time for a cold?

Did you know that...

  • ...cold viruses spread quickly and are constantly changing?
  • ...there are a wide variety of different cold viruses?
  • ...colds are an airborne infection?
  • ...each time you sneeze, thousands of droplets are released into the air at a speed of 150 km/hour?
  • ...cold viruses can survive for up to three hours?
  • ...you can get a cold a variety of ways, most commonly by shaking hands, opening doors and holding on to grip bars and handrails?
  • ...cold symptoms such as a sore throat, stuffy nose, sinus pressure or the chills show up one to two days after you get infected?

The most important information and tips for preventing a cold in a single PDF-file.

The most important details are available in this PDF-file.

Winter health topic: Stay healthy over the holidays

Did you know that...

  • ...the traditional Christmas spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves or aniseed have a warming effect?
  • ...vanilla and other seasonings are thought to improve your mood?
  • ...cardamom includes essential oils that reduce stomach discomfort and improve digestion?
  • ...many people consider the advent season to be the best, because people create a cosy environment and take time to be with each other?
  • ...the end of the year is the best time to reflect positively on the last year and make new plans for the future?

Suggestions for relaxing, reflecting on the past year and planning your future in a single PDF-file.

Read on for more information about traditional Christmas spices and tips for starting a new year off well in a single PDF-file.