Sembawang, Chua Chu Kang residents to get help to stay healthy, under HPB initiative

The Health Promotion Board (HPB) is hoping to encourage residents of housing estates to stay healthy through an "ecosystem" approach.

It is pushing for a range of initiatives from healthier meals to sheltered walkways to encourage people to walk, under its "Healthy Community Ecosystem" initiative unveiled on Wednesday.

For a start, it is targeting residents of Sembawang and Chua Chu Kang, who will get easier access to things like meals measuring 500 calories or less. These will be available in both Woodlands Mart and Sembawang Mart by February. It is also working with Sembawang and Chua Chu Kang town councils to incorporate health messages in HDB blocks to encourage residents to use the stairs.

"We want to enable people to live a healthy lifestyle easily and effortlessly, be it in schools or in the community," said Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, chair of the Healthy Living Masterplan Task Force.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has also started a programme to extend sheltered walkways and build rest areas between MRT stations, school bus stops and healthcare facilities within 400m of public transport nodes.

To be completed by 2018, this would encourage people to walk to their rides.

The HPB is working closely with LTA to ensure that there are elderly-friendly features at the rest areas. Sembawang already has 10km of cycling paths, more will be built in Chua Chu Kang.

And then there will be moves to encourage more to go for health checks.

Residents over age 40 in Sembawang and Choa Chu Kang can get subsidised chronic disease screening from the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

On offer too are more sports activities, such as "Sundays-at-the-Park", a free programme by HPB that includes activities such as Yoga and Zumba.

Said HPB chief Zee Yoong Kang: "We look forward to receiving feedback from residents and will incorporate their feedback in our plans to introduce other Healthy Community Ecosystems to more constituencies in future."

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.