Unhealthy Bruneians?

The Minister of Health was talking about the wastage of medications last night on the news. The government spent some $27m on medication for heart diseases, $5m on kidney treatments and another $5m for cancer and about $40m on medications. That is a large sum of money for Brunei and when payment is minimal, it does create burdens for the country. However what is sad is the irresponsible behaviour of those given the medications where they do not take what's given and the medications are either wasted, thrown away and improperly stored.

Prevention however can be better than being cured. I read that the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports has a compulsory program where everyone is required to attend an exercise session every Satuday morning before work at the Ministry begins at 9.30 in the morning. The activity included a 'heart pumping aerobics' session followed by a brisk walk in the stadium's premises. The exercise was supposed to enhance work productivity through exercise activities as well as promote the culture of a healthy lifestyle in Brunei.

I have no complaints about forcing people to exercise. I think the health statistics speak for itself - heart diseases are the leading causes of death in Brunei. I go to the gym every Friday and Sunday (if I don't play golf which is more fun than the gym but less strenuous) and to be told even that is not enough. When I first started going serious into the sports/gym activities about 3 years ago, I remember most literature would say exercising about half an hour a day 4 times a week is sufficient. Latter literatures indicate 45 minutes a day EVERYDAY is the right target. I am really looking to find that extra 45 minutes everyday. So the MCYS' once a week is really just an introductory rate, if you ask me.

I remember visiting a Mitsubishi Heavy Plant industry in Kobe, Japan quite a long time ago, 1989, if I am not mistaken and I found it interesting that during lunchbreaks, the workers don't go home for lunch or go out for lunch. Most of them will change into a tracksuit and started running up and down the company's yard or do anything to keep moving. The yard was literally full of tracksuit clad workers and supervisors and senior staff all doing their activities. It was a corporate culture and everyone followed suit. The early morning exercises are another one where everyone exercised being led by instructors.

The only problem is that our culture is not geared to this. For instance even if we were to have morning exercises as part of our routine, you will find that there is absolutely no way you can take a quick shower and change unless you want everyone to go to work all sweaty. But cultures can be adopted. We should all go out and find some ways of keeping ourselves fit to avoid becoming another health statistic.


Anonymous said…
The government is sending mixed signals: they want us to exercise yet say that women shouldn't play football ;) (sorry, couldn't resist!)

In all seriousness though, getting people to exercise isn't a problem faced by Brunei alone. But from what I gather, Bruneians have an inexplicable aversion to exercise. Every time I drive my friends around, no matter where I park they'll always complain it's too far to walk.

About a year ago, the Borneo Bulletin reported that one-third of students under 12 were obese. One-third! That really knocked me for a loop. I really cannot understand why we don't exercise more than we do; we have the facilities after all. And if you can't get to the gym or the stadium, lace up your Nikes and go for a jog.

Maybe we're just lazy...
Unknown said…
I know I am lazy. (Any excuse is an excuse to skip afternoon aerobics)
Anonymous said…
Messages if sent through the proper channels might spur an unexpected shift in 'attitudes'.

Some have this belief that I will die when his almighty decides it time. Now we for sure have now indicator when that will happen. This goes especially to smokers. Being stated that it 'Haram' (like women's footy) but people still smoke. I know some 'Imam's' who smoke. So did they now read or hear the 'sermon'??

I admit I used to smoke. Rarely did exercise until the Doc told he I had high BP. I'm young and I dun want my kid to be affected by this. It took me sometime to realise I had to quit and shed the pounds. I have alhamdulillah quit smoking last december and started a running routine every afternoon and I'm glad to say I've lost weight and have managed to get my BP at a normal rate. BUt I've made a promise that I will continue my run till i reach my ideal weight and not jeopardise my health. I want my future children to be healthy and well.

So its Attitude n proper channels hehehehe... cheers
Anonymous said…
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