Sunday, October 26, 2014

Active Nation

My general observation in Singapore is – people here live healthy. By that I mean – most of them exercise regularly and eat healthy. And then there are tonnes of marathons and other runs that happen in Singapore every year that a huge part of the population participates.

The Government and associated bodies, seem to take public health rather seriously. Giving a discourse about the Government policies is beyond my capacity, but I felt I highlight 2 important things that have affected me in the recent months:

The Health Promotion Board has had a very active campaign for people to sign-up and commit to lose weight. Collectively the country is trying to shed a million kg (after I look at all the healthy people around me, I doubt they will achieve that kind of a weight loss but a noble idea indeed). And if an entire nation is trying to lose weight together, it is probably all the motivation that you can get.

The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) has been promoting active living all this while. Now the SSC has launched a program titled “ActiveSG”. To entice people to actually use the facilities SSC is giving out $100 for each sign-up. That $100 in credits is valid till end of 2015. Swimming, costs $1 a visit (I find it ironic, that I pay less to swim here than I did in India, and the pools are bigger and relatively less crowded). Effectively, that’s more than 3 months of swimming free. And mind you, there are a lot of other facilities you can use beyond swimming (Table Tennis, Badminton, Gymnasium, Group exercises etc.)

With advancements in healthcare, human beings in general have started living longer. However, we aren’t that much healthier than our ancestors. Programs like these should help improve the overall wellbeing of the nation and make the resident population healthier and contribute towards lowering healthcare costs and better productivity off an aging population.

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