More employees to have healthy lifestyle options at workplaces

Dr Amy Khor (right) joining a lunchtime yoga class for people working at one-north yesterday. A national committee chaired by Dr Khor is overseeing initiatives to reach at least 120,000 workers.
Dr Amy Khor (right) joining a lunchtime yoga class for people working at one-north yesterday. A national committee chaired by Dr Khor is overseeing initiatives to reach at least 120,000 workers.PHOTO: MIKE LEE FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

MORE employees will have access to health promotion programmes and healthier food options at their workplaces by the end of March next year.

A national committee chaired by Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower Amy Khor is overseeing initiatives to reach at least 120,000 workers at business clusters and industrial parks, its secretariat said.

The Tripartite Oversight Committee on Workplace Health, which includes representatives from the Government, unions, employers and developers, also aims to improve access to workplace health and safety programmes for at least 11,000 older workers by end-March.

Dr Khor said yesterday that with more people working till later in life, "the workplace is a natural and important setting for us to engage Singaporeans".

The cluster approach allows programmes to target the specific health needs and work environments of different sectors, she added, at the official launch of the Healthy Workplace Ecosystem at one-north in Buona Vista.

Since last November, employees there have been enjoying customised health and exercise activities. By September, at least half of the eateries will offer healthier meal options of up to 500 calories, up from two in 10 now.

A mobile app called Healthy Living@SG now lets employees, who will number 30,000 by December, track their physical activity and redeem rewards such as FairPrice vouchers. Ms Yang Li Yee, 44, a sourcing manager at Shell who has worked at one- north for over a year, has been using the app to ensure she walks for at least half an hour each day.

Over the last three months, she has been attending zumba, running clinic and salsa classes at the office. "After work you don't have to travel elsewhere, you can just change and go down," she said.

Healthy workplace ecosystems have been rolled out at Mapletree Business City in Pasir Panjang and at Ascendas' seven business clusters also.The committee plans to work in industrial areas as well.

joseow@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2015, with the headline 'More employees to have healthy lifestyle options at workplaces'. Print Edition | Subscribe