Bus captains get health checks and tips on how to stay healthy, under new scheme

Dr Amy Khor and Mrs Josephine Teo at the Choa Chu Kang bus interchange for the Healthier Workers, Happier Workers workplace health programme for bus captains.
Dr Amy Khor and Mrs Josephine Teo at the Choa Chu Kang bus interchange for the Healthier Workers, Happier Workers workplace health programme for bus captains. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Bus captains get to taste some food recommended as healthier alternatives by the Helath Promotion Board.
Bus captains get to taste some food recommended as healthier alternatives by the Helath Promotion Board. ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Dr Amy Khor and Mrs Josephine Teo at the staff canteen at the Choa Chu Kang bus interchange.
Dr Amy Khor and Mrs Josephine Teo at the staff canteen at the Choa Chu Kang bus interchange.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - A six-month pilot workplace health programme specifically tailored for bus drivers was unveiled on Friday.

Under the programme, which kicked off in June 2015, bus drivers will have healthier meals served in canteens, as well as advice on driving ergonomics, hydration, and how to look after their eyes and health.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said: "A typical bus captain spends nine to 10 hours at the workplace six days a week. At home they mostly try to catch up on sleep.

"At work, they are often busier trying to ensure reliable services and passenger safety than taking care of themselves."

Some 400 bus captains aged 40 and above, from operators SMRT and SBS Transit, are currently participating in the programme.

Health screenings have been organised for the drivers at the bus depots at 4am, before they start their shifts.

The drivers are also undergoing monthly 30-minute health coaching sessions held at bus interchanges in Ang Mo Kio, Choa Chu Kang and Boon Lay.

These sessions will cover tips on eating healthy, chronic disease management and how to manage health concerns such as back pain from hours spent behind the wheel.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said: "We want to make it easy for bus drivers to keep healthy, so this programme is worked around their work schedules and is meant to address the most common health challenges that they face such as hydration, vision and ergnomics."

This workplace health programme is an initiative of the Ministerial Committee on Ageing and the Tripartite Committee on Workplace Health.

It is conducted in collaboration between the Ministry of Health, the National Transport Workers Union, SBS Transit, SMRT, Health Promotion Board, and Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Institute of Geriatrics and Active Ageing.

adrianl@sph.com.sg