Singapore has had a reputation for energy and vitality for decades, but now even our government has realised that the Lion City has lost a step or two. The cause of this is easy to pinpoint: people are growing older, and unfortunately many of them have adopted unhealthy practices that include a sedentary lifestyle, incessant smoking and frequent drinking. These factors have increased the risk of chronic disease among Singaporeans, so much so that it’s estimated that fully 25% of all Singaporeans who are at least 40 years old has at least one chronic health condition. And this situation has dire consequences for workers and for employers as well.
What Is a Chronic Disease?
Some health conditions last for months and even years. These are called chronic conditions, and all over the world these chronic ailments are the leading cause of mortality. The most common chronic ailments among Singaporeans include stroke, lipid disorders like high blood cholesterol, hypertension (also known as high blood pressure), diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
What’s frustrating about these ailments is that while they account for much of the health care costs in Singapore, they could also have been prevented easily enough. These conditions can be screened for and they can be managed effectively. But perhaps the most effective long-term solution is to implement a program that lowers the chance of these conditions coming up in the first place. And that’s where a corporate fitness program comes in.
Corporate Fitness Program Benefits
A corporate fitness program is primarily an educational tool to help employees adopt a healthier lifestyle. The fitness trainer leads a group of employees in doing various personal training exercises to help them get out of a mainly sedentary lifestyle. The personal training also usually involves educating them on what to eat and how much they should eat every day.
The personal training instruction can be very helpful. Some people simply go to the Internet and look up what exercises they should do, and that can be ineffectual at the very least. A personal trainer can identify the right exercises, and can also counsel the group on how frequently these activities should be performed. The trainer can also make sure that no one is slacking off.
The Web is a confusing place to get diet tips—there are so many conflicting theories out there—but with a fitness trainer your employees can avoid fad diets and take up a healthier diet instead. The trainer can help monitor each person’s progress so that more customised instruction can be provided as needed.
Encouraging the End of Unhealthy Habits
Ask any smoker or heavy drinker, and the majority of them learned to pick up their bad habits because when they were young they wanted to emulate their elders or were pressured into it by their peers. This is natural especially among teens, but even then these unhealthy habits provide the foundation on which many chronic diseases get their footing. You won’t really die right away when you smoke your first cigarette or take your first drink, but after many years of doing these, such habits can really take a toll on the body.
But following an example and following your peers aren’t necessarily negative. In fact, these instincts can be harnessed to help you keep healthy instead of increasing your risks for chronic disease. Your personal trainer, for example, is a good example of how you can look with the right exercise and diet, and a constant reminder like that can motivate you into putting more effort into your health regimen. A corporate fitness program is also a group program, so that means that the support of your colleagues can be instrumental in helping you stop smoking altogether. With their help, you can also lower daily alcohol intake to just a drink or two every day, which is much healthier than binge drinking on a regular basis.
The fight against chronic health ailments is important for both employees and employers. With the right corporate fitness program, your workers can avoid a long term debilitating condition, and at the same time employers can avoid having to handle the increase in healthcare costs caused by these chronic conditions. It’s a win-win situation, and in Singapore the need for corporate fitness programs has become more important now than ever before.
Yours in health,