Medical Officer at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Henry Kusi Appiah, has asked employers to use their powers to promote healthy lifestyles at the workplace.
He shared that in modern times non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, among other diseases are surging due to unhealthy lifestyles. Thus, it is important that employers help their employees live healthy lifestyles especially because they [employees] may spend the most part of their day at the workplace.
The doctor, on the Happy Morning Show with Samuel Eshun, detailed some initiatives that employers can take to promote healthy lifestyles at the workplace.
First and foremost, Dr. Kusi Appiah stated that employers must encourage the culture of exercise. “I know there are some companies in Ghana that encourage their staff to go to the gyms after which the company is billed. The formal sector is gradually doing very well. And this is what all companies must imitate.”
He added that employers must also encourage their staff to go on leave to rest and feel refreshed for the next task ahead. He, however, observed that some employers are reluctant to allow their workers go on leave and that is very discouraging.
“When some workers want to go on leave, it becomes a tussle because the employers also think about who will replace those who go on leave and then they will have to spend more money and that impacts on the granting of the leave,” he shared.
Dr. Kusi Appiah also supported the idea of providing fruits for employees at the workplace when he said, “you can encourage employees to eat more fruits, and can even provide these fruits at the facility where they work.”
He concluded by stating that the physical structures of the workplace should be such that employees feel free to take a stroll after sitting for a long time.
The World Health Organization (WHO), states that non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide. Almost three quarters of all NCD deaths, and 82% of the 16 million people who died prematurely, or before reaching 70 years of age, occur in low- and middle-income countries.