When 93-year-old Dr. Charles Eugster, a British-Swiss dentist, took the stage at TEDxZurich, few knew what to expect. The audience was blown away with Dr. Eugster’s vitality and passion for his topic.
The Secret to Longevity isn't much of a Secret at all
The fact that he still rows and is a bodybuilder added further proof to what Dr. Eugster was talking about: Aging well.
Work, exercise and diet - he tells us - are the most important things people need to take into consideration if they want to age gracefully and healthily. These factors allow us to enjoy the next stage of our lives.
Switzerland: A Sporty Country in the Heart of Europe
Staying active is definitely nothing foreign to the Swiss. If there is one thing I hear time and again as a German teacher, it is how amazed expats are to see such healthy elderly people: A 65-year-old on a mountain bike climbing up a steep hill in the summer is not an oddity here.
If Germany is the country of poets and philosophers (Dichter und Denker), Switzerland is the land of sport. And since the birth of sports in Switzerland, Och Sport has been around. The firm, which celebrated its 175 year anniversary last year, was first established in Geneva and came to Zurich in 1912. Anyone who has visited Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich will surely have passed by this historic store.
Experts who Help you Get out there
Och Sport is an expert outfitter for all sports. Its motto is: "The best of today and not the cheapest from yesterday." Those seeking friendly and professional advice will find just that - along with brand name sports gear.
With the explicit aim of helping the Swiss stay fit, the company has run an advertising campaign for several years now in which they suggest that we do a little sports (Treiben Sie wieder mal Sport) - in a tongue and cheek manner. These posters are brilliant, and I am sure you will agree that they are very well done!
Enjoying the Sweet and Savory Sides of Switzerland is quite alright with a little Sport...
A Great Business Model
There is one more thing that a company like Och Sport can teach many other businesses, and this is where we come back to Dr. Charles Eugster: When I sat down with the Director of the firm, Mr. Roman Oberholzer, he told me that Och Sport employs some 60 employees from ages 16 to 66 years.
The young and old work together, learn from one another, and just as importantly play together. A young apprentice realizes that the 62-year-old knows some of the best ski slopes in the country, and so they head out together on the weekend. And an 63-year-old woman gets in on the latest fitness trends from a younger co-worker and does not feel so worried about today’s youth anymore.
Sports keeps you young — Treiben Sie wieder mal Sport!