Involve students in fitness campaigns

Diabetes, heart conditions and other health issues are becoming increasingly common as living conditions improve. These health conditions put a great toll on people and the Government.

Prevention is better than cure. There is a great need for us to work together to reduce the risk of these lifestyle-related health conditions.

I applaud the Health Promotion Board (HPB) for its efforts to hold campaigns to create a healthier Singapore ("HPB steps up health campaign to engage more S'poreans"; Oct 2).

Campaigns such as Lose To Win and the National Steps Challenge are creative and very effective in encouraging the public to stay healthy and gain healthy habits. The rewards participants get motivate them.

Students in Singapore now have heavier workloads and less time to exercise and be outdoors. I hope the HPB will reach out to them as well, as the campaigns are currently aimed at adults.

Students could be encouraged to exercise, such as by jumping rope or running. They can be provided with fitness trackers and rewards to encourage them further.

These activities will lead to many benefits for students, such as reducing the risk of childhood obesity and reducing the rates of myopia. In the long run, we can create a healthier generation and healthier society.

Peter Theodore Siauw, 12, Primary 6 pupil

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2016, with the headline 'Involve students in fitness campaigns'. Print Edition | Subscribe