Sheng Siong staff get healthcare tips

(From left) Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee, Dr Amy Khor and ST Healthcare medical expert Ng Wee Tong watch as retail assistant Zou Meili, 45, shows them how she does a stretching exercise using a resistance band.
(From left) Sheng Siong CEO Lim Hock Chee, Dr Amy Khor and ST Healthcare medical expert Ng Wee Tong watch as retail assistant Zou Meili, 45, shows them how she does a stretching exercise using a resistance band.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

At some Sheng Siong supermarket outlets, staff are getting lessons in how to stand, bend and lift heavy objects properly.

The lessons are part of a year-long pilot project by the Health Promotion Board to target some of the common health problems faced by retail workers, such as muscle aches and joint pains.

"Our workers are our company's wealth, and health is everyone's wealth," said Sheng Siong chief executive Lim Hock Chee.

He added that the company has also introduced healthier ingredients in the packed lunches it provides workers. "We have to eat healthy - less sugar, less oil, less salt - so as not to give our children trouble in the future."

About 600 staff from two outlets, as well as the supermarket's headquarters, are taking part in the programme. The pilot project is part of the $3 billion Action Plan on Successful Ageing, which was announced in August. In addition to workplace health programmes targeted at older workers, the plan is also investing in elder-friendly infrastructure and age-related research.

Senior Minister of State for Health, and Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor, who was at Tuesday's event, said the goal of the pilot project is to encourage staff to take charge of their own health.

She said: "It's about... introducing exercise classes, nutritional talks and so on, to empower them to be able to lead healthy lifestyles, and change their health behaviours."

As part of the new programme, more than 500 Sheng Siong workers have also undergone health screenings, which help make them more aware of their health status.

"I now know that my LDL level is high," said cashier Loo Ai Kuan,52. LDL refers to "bad" cholesterol.

"My legs get tired at the end of the day, so they have also been teaching us some exercises to help stretch our muscles before work."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 29, 2015, with the headline 'Sheng Siong staff get healthcare tips'. Print Edition | Subscribe