Close to 10,000 on board SportSG's Active Health Labs

Some 9,567 people have been "onboarded" at Active Health Labs over the last year, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) said in a review earlier this week of its work last year.

This is up from about 2,200 in March last year, after the first of two Active Health Labs was opened at Our Tampines Hub in August 2017. A second lab, at Heartbeat@Bedok, was opened last February.

The labs are part of the Active Health movement by Sport Singapore (SportSG), which aims to promote ownership of one's health.

Onboarding is a process where a person's current health and fitness levels are assessed, allowing experts to personalise wellness planssuch as exercises or lifestyle habits.

In total, the movement has reached over 80,000 people through roadshows and community events, added the MCCY.

MCCY Minister Grace Fu said that while the numbers are a "good start for the first year", the movement also plays an important social role.

She said: "It's not just about getting the individual interested in taking ownership of his own health and exercise regimen... It's also about building social ties between people who may not know each other, even though they may be from the same neighbourhood."

"If you're going through the onboarding with 20 other people, we're hoping that the social bonds, the peer relationships will help the individual carry on with his health and exercise regimen better."

She added: "Numbers are good but, when we review a success of a programme, we put qualitative KPIs (key performance indicators) around it.

"Do the people keep to a regimen after they undergo an onboarding session? Do they take up regular exercise? Sleep and eat better? Is it better done through a doctor nudging or a friend?"

Participants who undergo onboarding at an Active Health Lab can choose to attend a customised 12-week programme, clinics, or an array of programme offerings from ActiveSG that meets their needs.

A SportSG spokesman said 535 participants have completed the 12-week course, with results showing that on average, participants saw improvements in body mass index and systolic blood pressure, as well as reduced waist circumference.

The spokesman added: "Many participants enjoyed the free and easy access to sport and exercise experts who are able to provide them personalised tips and advice based on health measurements obtained through onboarding."

SportSG plans to set up four more Active Health Labs at sports centres in Jurong East, Sengkang, Bishan and Woodlands before the end of the year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2019, with the headline 'Close to 10,000 on board SportSG's Active Health Labs'. Subscribe