Get prescribed exercise at Active Health Labs
New initiative to help S'poreans tackle health conditions through physical activity
Singaporeans can soon look forward to personalised exercise advice based on their health conditions and fitness levels.
An initiative named Active Health was unveiled at a memorandum of understanding signing with national sports agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) and five local health institutions - Health Promotion Board, Changi General Hospital (CGH), Exercise is Medicine Singapore (EIMS), National Healthcare Group Polyclinics and National University Health System (NUHS) - yesterday.
For a start, a pilot Active Health Lab, a collaboration involving SportSG, CGH and EIMS will be launched at Our Tampines Hub on Aug 6.
At the lab, experts will recommend physical activity in the "right dosage" to prevent, treat and manage common chronic health conditions.
The Active Health Lab is founded on exercise science and operated by allied health certified experts.
CGH, with its expertise in sports medicine, will train and identify physicians and SportSG health trainers in exercise prescription.
Healthcare providers will also recommend suitable patients to the Active Health Lab.
Other labs are slated to be located in sports centres in Bedok and the upcoming Sembawang Sports and Community Hub, which will be ready by 2019.
SportSG will also work with NUHS to pilot an Active Centre in Alexandra Hospital, which will be ready next September.
At the centre, patients with chronic and metabolic diseases will get targeted exercise therapy to complement conventional medical treatment.
Our goal within the system is to establish exercise as a standard treatment for medical conditions as much as medication.Dr Lingaraj Krishna, programme lead of the Active Centre and head of sports medicine at National University Hospital Sports Centre
SportSG and healthcare professionals said that the Active Health initiative is a paradigm shift to encourage people to take ownership of their health and wellness. Physical activity and exercise is becoming a strategy that is assuming an increasing national importance, given our underlying demographic trends and chronic disease burden, said Associate Professor Khoo See Meng, clinical lead of Alexandra Campus Development Team.
Dr Benedict Tan, chairman of EIMS, explained that under the current system, patients who are prescribed exercise as part of their treatment might be "bounced back and forth" between their doctor and the gym.
"That would be frustrating for the patients, and they might choose not to do anything about it," he added.
Dr Lingaraj Krishna, programme lead of the Active Centre and head of sports medicine at National University Hospital Sports Centre, said: "At the end of the day, our goal within the system is to establish exercise as a standard treatment for medical conditions as much as medication...
"By having the Active Centre within a hospital complex, it sends a powerful message that exercise is not just a lifestyle choice but also a health choice."