National Healthy Lifestyle Programme



The Ministry of Health launched the National Healthy Lifestyle Programme in 1992 to promote a healthy lifestyle among Singaporeans. It was officially inaugurated by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.The programme is focused on an annual, month-long campaign, the National Healthy Lifestyle Campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The programme adopts a multipronged approach to create and foster a supportive environment for Singaporeans to practise healthy behaviour.2

Description
The National Healthy Lifestyle Programme was instituted by the Ministry of Health to help improve the lifestyle of Singaporeans in terms of physical, social and mental well-being. Since its inception in 1992, the programme has organised a range of activities, events and awards to promote its cause. Its core activities are to promote healthy eating habits and regular exercise. It encourages people to quit smoking, provides help in stress management and emphasises the practice of healthy behaviour such as greater community interaction and avoidance of casual sex. The programme, which targets all age groups, also includes surveys and feedback to review the progress of its objectives.3


In 1996, a civic committee was set up to facilitate healthy activities among Singaporeans. The committee comprised citizens from various community organisations, professional groups, members of the media and private industry. The aims were to encourage greater community participation and facilitate better interaction and flow of ideas among the public to enhance the lifestyle of the Singapore society.In 1999, the National Healthy Lifestyle Campaign introduced the Singapore HEALTH (Helping Employees Achieve Life-Time Health5) Award and ACTIVE (All Companies/Communities Together in Various Exercises) Day. On each ACTIVE Day, staff would exercise and learn the finer points of healthy living.6 The programme brings together private companies, unions and government departments to promote health awareness at the workplace.7 The purpose is to improve work efficiency in terms of saving on medical leave and improving staff performance through stress management.8

The activities held in conjunction with the National Healthy Lifestyle Programme differ every year, with new features added for each edition. Some of the events are: Great Singapore Workout, Mental Health Education Programme, National Smoking Control Campaign, AIDS Campaign,9 Family Run Run,10 Supermarket Programme,11 “Ask For” Programme,12 Restaurant Programme,13 Healthier Hawker Trail14  FunFITT,15 Healthier Dining Programme, Healthier Choice Symbol Programme,16 National Steps Challenge, Lose to Win, Sundays@The park,17 Workplace Health Promotion Programme18 and various health promoting programmes in education institutions to build a healthy student population.19 In addition, there are health assessments, talks, forums, various campaigns, education programmes, telematches and exhibitions.20 Over the years, the programme’s achievements have included teaching healthier cooking methods to hawker stall owners21 and restaurateurs,22 increasing awareness of health problems in women,23 as well as helping the public reduce obesity levels24 and quit smoking.25

In recent years, the focus has been on healthy ageing.26 The inaugural National Seniors’ Health Programme was launched in September 2015 with an exercise video for seniors.27 The following year, a food nutrition guide was introduced to seniors to help them understand the importance of good nutrition.28 The 7-Sit-Down Exercises was introduced in March 2017 for seniors aged 50 years and above, including those with reduced mobility. An exercise video is also available in four official languages to allow seniors and their family members to watch and participate in the exercises together.29



Author

Naidu Ratnala Thulaja



References
1. Salma Khalik. (1999, September 10). Panel to promote workplace healthThe Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

2. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2000, September 7). Speech by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, minister for health and 2nd minister for finance at the launch of National Healthy Lifestyle Campaign 2000 cum the Singapore H.E.A.L.T.H Award 2000 presentation ceremony, 7 September 2000, Suntec City at 7.40 pm. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline
3. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2000, September 7). Speech by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, minister for health and 2nd minister for finance at the launch of National Healthy Lifestyle Campaign 2000 cum the Singapore H.E.A.L.T.H Award 2000 presentation ceremony, 7 September 2000, Suntec City at 7.40 pm. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline
4. Lim, A. (1996, October 18). Healthy lifestyle drive to be civic movementThe Straits Times, p. 40. Retrieved from NewspaperSG
5. Health Promotion Board. (2016, October 16). Singapore HEALTH Award. Retrieved 2016, November 8 from Health Promotion Board website: http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/HPBSUEXTAPP1_4022011
6. Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. (2000, September 7). Speech by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, minister for health and 2nd minister for finance at the launch of National Healthy Lifestyle Campaign 2000 cum the Singapore H.E.A.L.T.H Award 2000 presentation ceremony, 7 September 2000, Suntec City at 7.40 pm. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website:http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline
7. Health message goes to the workplace. (1999, September 10). The Straits Times, p. 11. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Healthy Lifestyle Campaign targets those between 30–49. (1995, August 24). The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Health campaigns succeed in raising public awareness: Survey. (1994, October 24). The Straits Times, p. 19. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Teo, G. (1994, September 6). PM Goh to kick off healthy lifestyle drive on SundayThe Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Two plus two equals a healthy heart. (2000, August 25). The Straits Times, p. 50. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Woo, P. (2004, October 19). Create the demand for healthier foodToday, p. 12. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Two plus two equals a healthy heart. (2000, August 25). The Straits Times, p. 50. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
14. Moss, J. (2003, August 9). Healthy hawker fareToday, p. 58. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
15. Let’s get FITT together. (2003, September 6). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. Health Promotion Board. (2017, November 1). Food & beverage. Retrieved 2017, December 19 from Health Promotion Board website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/healthy-living/food-beverage
17. Health Promotion Board. (2017, February 27). Physical activity programmes. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion Board website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/healthy-living/physical-activity/physical-activity-programmes
18. Health Promotion Board. (2011, November 10). Health Promotion Board and association of small and medium enterprises ink MOU to promote workplace health. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/article/health-promotion-board-and-the-association-of-small-and-medium-enterprises-ink-mou-to-promote-workplace-health
19. Health Promotion Board. (2017, July 31). Schools. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion Board website:https://www.hpb.gov.sg/schools; Health Promotion Board. (2017, April 13). School programmes. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion Board website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/schools/school-programmes
20. Teo, G. (1994, September 6). PM Goh to kick off healthy lifestyle drive on SundayThe Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
21. More greens, less oil and salt, please. (1998, August 22). The Straits Times, p. 34. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
22. Health Promotion Board. (2017, October 25). Healthier dining programme. Retrieved 2017, December 19 from Health Promotion Board website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/healthy-living/food-beverage/healthier-dining-programme
23. Health Promotion Board. (2012, September 16). HPB reviews and refines health programmes for women with help from newly formed Women’s Health Advisory Committee. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion Board website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/article/hpb-reviews-and-refines-health-programmes-for-women-with-help-from-newly-formed-women's-health-advisory-committee
24. Health Promotion Board. (2009, September 10). National healthy lifestyle campaign (NHLC) 2009. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion Board website:  https://www.hpb.gov.sg/article/national-healthy-lifestyle-campaign-(nhlc)-2009
25. Health Promotion Board. (2012, March 21). A new chapter for tobacco control in Singapore. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion Board website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/article/a-new-chapter-for-tobacco-control-in-singapore
26. Health Promotion Board. (2011, March 19). Active seniors aim for a fulfilling and healthy life. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion Board website:  https://www.hpb.gov.sg/article/active-seniors-aim-for-a-fulfilling-and-healthy-life
27. Health Promotion Board. (2017, March 26). New exercise campaign to encourage active living among seniors, including those with reduced mobility. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/article/new-exercise-campaign-to-encourage-active-living-among-seniors-including-those-with-reduced-mobility
28. Health Promotion Board. (2016, May 15). HPB dishes out ‘Recipe for Healthy Ageing’ to guide seniors towards healthy eating. Retrieved 2017, August 13 from Health Promotion Board website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/article/hpb-dishes-out-recipe-for-healthy-ageing-to-guide-seniors-towards-healthy-eating
29. Health Promotion Board. (2017, March 26). New exercise campaign to encourage active living among seniors, including those with reduced mobility. Retrieved 2017, September 27 from Health Promotion website: https://www.hpb.gov.sg/article/new-exercise-campaign-to-encourage-active-living-among-seniors-including-those-with-reduced-mobility



The information in this article is valid as at 2017 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
National Healthy Lifestyle Programme, Singapore, 1992-
Events>>National Campaigns
Health and medicine>>Healthy living
National campaigns
Health promotion--Singapore
Health education--Singapore