Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Health has launched a physical activity guide and toolkit for the workplace, as part of efforts to promote healthier lifestyle practices as well as combat some of the health problems facing Jamaicans.
  • The guide and toolkit, which contains material centred on healthy lifestyle and promoting population-wide physical activity, is the start of measures being undertaken by the Ministry to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
  • The physical activity guide and toolkit aims to establish workplaces, whether public or private, small or large, rural or urban, as supportive environments that can facilitate persons receiving the most or all of the recommended physical activity for the day.

The Ministry of Health has launched a physical activity guide and toolkit for the workplace, as part of efforts to promote healthier lifestyle practices as well as combat some of the health problems facing Jamaicans.

The guide and toolkit, which contains material centred on healthy lifestyle and promoting population-wide physical activity, is the start of measures being undertaken by the Ministry to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

It also comprises useful and relevant information sheets, as well as forms to be filled out that will help employees assess their own health status.

Speaking at the official launch at the Courtleigh Hotel in Kingston on March 24, Minister of Health, Hon. Fenton Ferguson, pointed to the need for Jamaicans to increase physical activity in order to improve their health and wellbeing.

“Physical activity is a behaviour, which requires little or no resources, can be achieved in various forms, and can be done in any setting, yet many persons do not practice this behaviour,” he lamented.

He informed that the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2010, cited physical inactivity as the principal cause for approximately 21 to 25 per cent of breast and colon cancers, 27 per cent of diabetes, and approximately 30 per cent of ischaemic heart disease.

He noted that in Jamaica, NCDs continue to be the cause of over 70 per cent of deaths, pointing out that a “simple shift in the choices we make as it relates to the risk factors could actually prevent 80 per cent of premature heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and 40 per cent of cancers”.

The National Strategic and Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013 to 2018, aims to reduce physical inactivity by five per cent by 2018.

Strategies to achieve the target involve empowering persons to increase their level of physical activity as well as encourage medical practitioners to prescribe physical activity as part of patient care.

The physical activity guide and toolkit aims to establish workplaces, whether public or private, small or large, rural or urban, as supportive environments that can facilitate persons receiving the most or all of the recommended physical activity for the day.

For adults 18 to 64 years old, the recommended amount of activity is at least 30 minutes, five days a week.

The Ministry will also be creating a physical activity guide for medical practitioners and Dr. Ferguson informed that workshops will be held to support the information captured towards developing the guide.