Saturday, May 30, 2015Saturday, May 30, 2015

Taxi drivers need to find ways to stay healthy even with long hours at the wheel: NTA

Published on Jan 31, 2014 2:47 PM
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong (in red), along with taxi leaders from the National Taxi Association, gave out goodie bags and hongbao to taxi drivers at Changi Airport on Friday morning, Jan 31, 2014, to thank them for working on the first day of Chinese New Year. -- PHOTO: NTUC

With rising rental costs and an increased minimum daily mileage driving cabbies to ply the roads for longer hours, the National Taxi Association (NTA) is urging drivers not to leave their mental and physical health behind.

The NTA, a body that champions the interests and well-being of cabbies, plans to hold exercise programmes and sports programmes for the drivers, said its executive adviser Ang Kin Hee. The NTA already organises events in sports like badminton - one of its most popular activities - and bowling, but are looking at other activities taxi drivers have voiced an interest in, such as table tennis and basketball.

But the participation rate of drivers in the NTA's sports programmes so far is lower than they have hoped for, said Mr Ang. In 2013, NTA has seen more than 1,000 people participating in its sports events but, with over 30,000 active cabbies in Singapore, there's still "a long way to go".

Mr Ang cited long hours - with most cabbies spending more than 12 hours on the road - as one of the reasons most cabbies hold back from attending these events. He encouraged cabbies to start small by doing simple stretches during their short breaks or while waiting for passengers.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!