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Body and mind in balance - Interview with Daniel Nehring

26/01/2021 2021/01

Body and mind in balance - Interview with Daniel Nehring

Did you know that the fruit basket contributes only a small part to workplace health promotion. Even though we have already associated the apple with Isaac Newton's strokes of genius in the home office and the DGE also recommends 5 a day, there are still a few tips and tricks that keep us mentally healthy.

We asked our sports physiotherapist what tips he has, because not only does he know a lot about the body, but he is also the managing director of SPRISE, a company for workplace health promotion.

Hello Daniel, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me. We'll start with a few questions that should give the reader a first impression of you. Katja has already done a good job. So I am very curious about your answers. How would you introduce yourself in 2-3 sentences?

Hi, I'm Daniel - self-employed sports physiotherapist and personal trainer. I am also the managing director of SPRISE, a company for workplace health promotion. For more than 17 years I have been dealing with the topic of exercise and health and for about 10 years with occupational health management.

Before we get further into the topic, I look forward to your answers to the following questions.

  • In your childhood/youth there was a gameboy or a tablet?

Gameboy (but rarely, I rather played sports)

  • Walkman or Mp3 player?


  • Playing outside or sitting in front of the computer?

Playing outside!

  • What did you want to be when you were a child?

To grow up and earn my money doing things I enjoy

I can definitely tell you're having fun, thanks for the insights. For today's topic, I would like to understand what cognitive hygiene or mental health means to you personally?

For me, cognitive hygiene is first and foremost mindfulness. Listening to your body and learning to assess yourself correctly. And to find and live with the right amount of positive and negative stress.

You have told us about your many years of experience. What consequences have you seen with your clients who have neglected their mental fitness?

It starts with fatigue, concentration problems, chronic pain and discomfort, and in some cases it can even end in burnout.

These are really manifold effects. When you describe it like that, are there any tips for everyday life that you give your clients on cognitive hygiene?

I always make it clear to my clients how important the topic of regeneration is. Not only physically, but also mentally. Proper sleep patterns, good nutrition, "electronic breaks" and, above all, fresh air.

Daniel has been involved in occupational health management for 10 years.
Daniel Nehring is a self-employed sports physiotherapist and personal trainer.
Daniel Nehring is a self-employed sports physiotherapist and personal trainer.

And are there special exercises that help us with mental fitness, e.g. in the home office?

Breathe. No matter what life situation. You can influence your nervous system very well via various breathing techniques and this quickly and everywhere. 

Schedule time for yourself. Whether for relaxation or exercise, schedule fixed times and also like to note in your own diary.

You should schedule times when it is not about work issues. After all, there's more to life than just work, even if some employers don't like to hear that.

Companies are a good keyword right away. What do you think companies can do for their employees in terms of mental health?


Shared breaks, shared activities, or keeping break times in the first place and recognizing the importance of it. In times of corona and home office dominated times, it's important also from the employer side to keep in touch and point out and support health promoting measures.

Thank you very much, I think these are things that are easy to implement and at the same time have a noticeable effect. Perhaps to conclude, let's briefly return to you. How do you manage to recharge your batteries?

I try to schedule almost daily walks, at least 1h. These then to quiet places, like forests, fields, etc. That's where I can switch off best. Music, a tea break and time with the family.

Do you also feel a form of pleasure or, in other words, what is pleasure for you?

For me, enjoyment is dedication. Only when I take time to enjoy something is it a pleasure.

The topic of time is something we can probably delve into again soon, it seems to play an important role. What do you do, for example, in moments of time pressure or how do you deal with stress or deadline pressure?

Actually breathing. When I get into stress, I take 2-3 deep breaths and think about how to move forward in a goal-oriented way. But that wasn't always the case.

One last question, what are your wishes or goals in terms of your cognitive hygiene?

To create even more regular time slots for myself and my family.

Thank you so much for the helpful tips. 

Fortunately, we are not at the end of our line yet. We were able to bring in another expert for next week to give us a glimpse into her world from 100% home office even without Corona. And how she deals with the challenges of balancing work and family. 

One final question: Have you taken a conscious breath today?

Join our event on cognitive hygiene

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