223 honoured for health push in the workplace

Mr Edmund Yu, senior project manager at Seagate Singapore, leads exercise sessions at his workplace, while Ms Lim Yee Juan, group chief financial officer of National Healthcare Group, started a programme called Fit and Fun to help her staff track wha
Mr Edmund Yu, senior project manager at Seagate Singapore, leads exercise sessions at his workplace, while Ms Lim Yee Juan, group chief financial officer of National Healthcare Group, started a programme called Fit and Fun to help her staff track what they eat and how much they walked.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Mr Edmund Yu used to be just another sedentary employee, until he signed up in 2010 for a corporate health programme.
 

Through intensive exercise "boot camps", his body mass indexfell from 30.6 to 25.8 in just three months. Now, the 52-year-old senior project manager at technology firm Seagate Singapore is encouraging his colleagues to also lead healthy lifestyles.

He helms exercise sessions thrice a week after work. He even sets an example by climbing 176 steps up to his office every day.

Mr Yu is one of the recipients of the biennial Singapore Health Award, which was given out yesterday to recognise individuals and firms that promote healthy living at the workplace.

This year, 223 organisations and individuals received awards at the ceremony.

The award was created in 1999 by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and has been given to 1,300 companies, reaching out to more than 1.3 million workers.

With 70 per cent of Singapore's population in the workforce, HPB sees the workplace as an important setting to engage Singaporeans on achieving better health.

FIRST STEP TO BETTER HEALTH

The first step is creating awareness. Once they are aware of what they eat and how much they exercise, they can take charge and follow through by incorporating healthy habits into their everyday lives.

MS LIM YEE JUAN, group chief financial officer of National Healthcare Group, who implemented a programme called Fit and Fun which encouraged healthy eating among staff and monitored how much they walked through a step tracker.

Mr Zee Yoong Kang, chief executive of HPB, said weight issues are increasingly affecting young Singaporean adults as they transit from school and national service to the workplace.

"This can be attributed to more sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets. With obesity being a contributing factor to health problems, including diabetes, bringing health to the workplace has become increasingly important."

Another award winner is Ms Lim Yee Juan, 54, group chief financial officer of National Healthcare Group. In March last year, a survey showed that more than half of her team members were overweight. So, she implemented a programme called Fit and Fun, where the team attended briefings to encourage healthy eating and to monitor how much they walked using a step tracker.

"The first step is creating awareness," said Ms Lim. "Once they are aware of what they eat and how much they exercise, they can take charge and follow through by incorporating healthy habits into their everyday lives."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2017, with the headline '223 honoured for health push in the workplace'. Print Edition | Subscribe