Dear Herzlia community
Today I am introducing a wellness initiative that is a practical way of making the strategic priority of physical wellness a reality. Wellness is an outcome that is envisaged for all our staff, pupils and parents.
The concept is mentioned in no less than five of our Strategy documents:
1. In the Sports Strategy we talk about “participation for physical and mental well-being”
2. In the SEED Strategy we talk about our “Wellness Centre”
3. In the HR Strategy we talk about talent management and “staff wellness”
4. In the Curriculum strategy we mention that our co-curricular programme is about “sport and wellness”
5. In our Facilities Strategy, one of the focus areas is the Wellness of our staff and pupils, specifically related to seven items that have received visible attention:
• Sport Facilities (safety & physical wellness)
• Gardens (beauty & tranquillity)
• Canteen and Food (quality, affordable, kosher and healthy)
• Environment (making the best use of the views we have around us in our designs incl. Table Mountain for Highlands and the view of Lion’s Head for Weizmann)
• OHS (safe working spaces, classrooms, electric cables etc.)
• Socialising (comfortable spaces for social interaction e.g., the Student Pause Area, Staff Rooms and Kikar)
• Ergonomics and Light (what today’s announcement is about).
Since we went online during the lockdown in 2020, everybody is using electronic devices a lot more and literally everyone in our community has started working more from home in various formats. We sit at the dining room table, at some desk in our bedrooms or even lying/sitting on our beds. Our furniture at home did not change. The physical impact of increased device use and home-work arrangements (on furniture not designed for this) is definitely affecting our physical health. I personally feel it in the muscles of my neck & shoulders, my back and the strain on my eyes.
We need to take note, understand this and take action. At Herzlia we take it seriously that as an employer and educational institution, we need to take the lead. Your wellness is important to us. It is for that reason that we gave each staff member a high-quality mouse-pad and wrist-pad to start using when they are on their computers – a first step in helping them with their posture, making them more aware and getting this raised in our community: including you – our pupils and parents.
I also wish to announce the Herzlia Ergo-Wellness Initiative: a partnership with ergonomic specialists who will provide our community with meaningful information about improved workstation ergonomics, ergonomic products and ideas on our health, comfort and productivity. They are offering this at a discounted rate for use at home and/or school.
Herzlia is planning to procure ergonomic products for use in our classrooms and offices in the future, and your support of this initiative can also help in making that happen.
ANDRIES VAN RENSSEN
The Eric Samson Legacy Fund kindly agreed to sponsor the mouse and wrist pads for Herzlia staff. The late Eric Samson was a pillar of the Jewish community and a devoted philanthropist. His family has a strong connection to our school, supports so much of what we do, and we thank them and honour his memory.