How we view good health and our role in promoting it

At the university health initiative “Gesunde Uni”, we follow the international guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

These include medical, psychological and sociological perspectives. The WHO defines good health as “The state of full bodily, emotional and social well-being and not just freedom from sickness and physical ailment” (WHO, in Hurrelmann, 1998, p. 16).

This positive, health-promoting view of good health is included in the Ottowa Charta, which focused on promoting occupational health and was passed by the WHO in 1986:

“The way in which society organises work, working conditions and leisure time should serve as a source of health and not of sickness.”

Our guiding principles


For us, Interdisciplinarity means involving all areas of our organisation. It is only possible to promote excellent occupational health by including all health experts in the exchange of ideas needed to develop and set new goals and measures together. As a result, the University of Konstanz’s health initiative is made up of numerous health experts as well as representatives from all areas of the university.

Measures that address environmental as well as individual aspects

Secondly, we strive to implement measures that address environmental as well as individual aspects in our occupational health services. This means we follow a holistic approach to all health initiative services by addressing both the working conditions for our employees (e.g. improvements to the workplace, ergonomics, etc.) as well as their individual steps to promoting their own health over the long term (e.g. better nutrition, more exercise, etc.).

Differentiating our approach for various target groups

Multiple studies have shown that occupational health services are especially effective when they develop measures for specific target groups. For this reason, the university’s health initiative has adopted this third principle of differentiating our approach for various target groups. As a result, we develop specific programmes that address the specific needs of different genders, age-groups and cultural groups.