Working on the ‘health shift’

Interactive lecture series highlights workplace intervention to prevent diseases like T2DM

“HEALTH SHIFT”, an interactive lecture series launched by AstraZeneca, supports the company’s “Wee Say Yes” campaign that aims to further educate and encourage Filipinos to say “yes” to healthy practices to effectively manage one of the most prevalent non-communicable chronic diseases in the country, affecting at least 3.4 million individuals in the country as of 2010.

“Health Shift” is one of the initiatives of the pharmaceutical company that directly targets professionals who might be at risk of different diseases. The first session that AstraZeneca has launched follows the theme, “Diabesity in the Workplace” which aims to properly educate professionals on type 2 diabetes.

“We recognize that people in the workspace are mostly exposed to a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food choices, both of which could lead to diabetes. Launching this program is our way of continuing the celebration of World Diabetes Day. Partnering with like-minded organizations has allowed us to enlighten professionals and move them to a shift to a healthier lifestyle,” Gagan Singh, country president AstraZeneca Philippines said.

AstraZeneca has forged ties with the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (PSEDM) to pilot the interactive lecture series.

“Diabetes is a progressive disease and while medications can help individuals with this condition, these are not solutions on their own. Prevention of diabetes among high risk persons is still ideal. Proper nutrition and exercise are important for both prevention of diabetes and management of those who already have the disease. Since most adults spend much of their weekday at work, the workplace is the best place to intervene,” explained Dr. Cecile Jimeno, president of the PSEDM.

Components of the program include the participants learning their current health condition in terms of their body-mass index (BMI), which measures the ideal weight given the height of a person, and their blood sugar level as well. The participants of the lecture are educated on the basics of diabetes, and why people in the workspace are susceptible to the disease.

The value of proper nutrition, especially in the workplace, is also discussed. Professionals were taught on healthier food options that are readily available and accessible from their office’s reach. Employees are taught simple yet effective exercises they could do in the office.

Apart from the lectures, participants of the Health Shift program are able to engage in interactive booths, which allowed for an experiential learning opportunity. The different interactive booths serve as simulations on the effects of obesity.

Vital Signs Issue 71 Vol. 4, January 1-31 2015

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