Three ways workplaces can join in on the fight against disease

Obesity has costed Singapore over $540m in healthcare and lost productivity. Here’s how you can fight it

Three ways workplaces can join in on the fight against disease
In his National Day Rally speech earlier this week, PM Lee spoke at length about the ills of diabetes, calling it a “health crisis” for Singapore.

Currently, one in nine Singaporeans suffer from this disease, which can cause blindness, heart failure and kidney failure, and may even lead to amputations.

One of the disease’s major causes, obesity, is similarly on the rise in Singapore. According to an Economist Intelligence Unit report, the number of obese people in the republic has risen by around 29% between 2010 and 2014. It’s costed Singapore over $540 million in terms of healthcare and lost productivity, and that’s in 2016 alone.

Government agencies have identified primary school classrooms as the frontlines of this war on disease, rolling out fitness and wellness programmes for young children. But efforts towards healthier lifestyles need to be sustained well past the schooling age.

Here are three ways your firm can weigh in on the fight against bad health:
  1. Make healthy snacks available
Swap out the instant noodles and unhealthy snack foods filling the break room pantry with healthier options like fruit, nuts, granola, and juices with less sugar.
  1. Offer discounted gym memberships
In a recent report by the Mayo Clinic, one of the main reasons Americans overeat is workplace stress. In addition to providing healthier food options, firms can provide their workers access to alternative means of stress relief. This can be in the form of discounts on gym memberships or yoga and meditation classes.
  1. Host healthy lifestyle workshop
Going back to the classroom model, one great way to combat bad lifestyle choices is by providing your employees with a refresher course on how to stay healthy. By bringing in health professionals to talk about proper diet and exercise habits, firms can equip their workers with not only the means, but the know-how to battle the bulge and stay healthy.

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