Today’s Editorial Sept 28: Take Government’s weight challenge

Suffering from middle management spread?

Then the Government’s got a programme for you.

The National Workplace Health and Wellness Programme is being implemented to help us get healthier.

The programme encourages change in diet, physical fitness and stress management.

The initiative comes on the heels of Health Service Authority stats that show the number of people in the Cayman Islands who are on dialysis has grown by 10 per cent in the past four years.

Two of the leading causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure; diseases that plague Caymanians.

Blame our starchy diets and, since the introduction of motorized vehicles to the country, our sedentary lifestyles.

Those of us who sit behind computers all day at our offices can see our behinds expanding as we spend our time sitting and even taking our meals at our desks and finding little time to exercise.

The Government’s new Wellness Programme is aimed at business and Government employees with at least 10 participants. It’s offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Groups that choose to participate will undergo a pre-assessment that will measure height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, blood sugar and waist size along with a body composition analysis.

Area gyms have come on board to offer special pricing for the three-month programme.

This programme sounds like it’s going to be good for everyone – businesses, employees, Government and Health Services.

If we all commit to get fit our risks of illness as we get older will go down, we won’t have to take as many sick days from work and we won’t have to face so many expensive visits to doctors.

The final element of the programme will be a workshop to teach how to de-stress.

Even if you already eat right and exercise, chances are you suffer from stress at one point or another.

Most people admit that when they’re under stress, healthy eating habits can be difficult to maintain.

Whether eating to fill an emotional need or grabbing fast food simply because there’s no time to prepare something healthy, a stressed-out lifestyle is rarely a healthy one.

But weight gain when under stress may also be at least partly due to the body’s system of hormonal checks and balances, which can actually promote weight gain when you’re stressed out.

So just the benefits of the workshop alone are priceless.

Employees are encouraged to get together and sign up for the Government’s new initiative.

It’s also a great way for companies to challenge each other.

Friendly wagers can be made on which companies’ employees get the most fit in the three months time.

Go ahead, challenge each other.

The Government is smart to limit the programme to groups of 10 or more; it’s a lot easier to lose and maintain weight when you have a support group behind you.

If you or your employees are interested in the programme, contact Health Promotion Officer Therese Prehay on 244-2632 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Go ahead, commit to get fit.

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