- Rabab Al Tajir, the first Emirati woman international and national car rally driver, kicked off the campaign at the press conference
- The Group’s ‘My Employees’ Health First’ initiative encourages office workers to be more mobile during office hours
- 1 hour of physical activity during the day a must to offset the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle; decreases the risk of associated deaths.
Addressing the growing cases of chronic ailments that stem from sedentary lifestyle at workplaces, Arabian Healthcare Group has launched a massive country-wide proactive campaign targeting more than 300 corporate houses and influencing thousands of people. ‘My Employees’ Health First’ initiative motivates office workers to remain active despite doing stationary desk jobs, encouraging them to find time for physical activity at regular intervals during office hours. Besides taking a short break every hour to unwind, employees will also be taught light exercises to help them relax their neck, shoulder, wrist and back muscles, spurring them into adopting a more active lifestyle.
Corporate houses participating in the campaign include Waldorf Astoria, Cove Rotana, Electro Rak, Dabur, RAK Ceramic, Al Hamra Real Estate, Eternity Technologies, RITZ Carlton, Vesuvius, RAK Airport, Prestige Plastic, Mabani Steel, Elite Extrusion, Franke, Ashok Leyland, Proserv Middle East and Whealth Insurance, among others.
The campaign was inaugurated by Ms Rabab Al Tajir, the first Emirati woman international and national car rally driver, at Dubai RAK Diabetes Centre, Jumeirah, which is under the umbrella of Arabian Healthcare Group. The Group’s network further includes RAK Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, Chain of RAK Medical Centres and RAK Pharmacies, Star Metropolis, Arabian Wellness and Lifestyle Management and SAHI School Health Program.
Lauding the initiative, Ms Rabab said: “In this day and age, where more and more people are falling victim to illnesses, we have to take full responsibility of our health. But because we are so wrapped up in our daily routine, we don’t find the time or inclination to focus on our fitness. I have full confidence that this campaign by Arabian Healthcare Group will be the much-needed motivation, and will guide many office workers to include exercises in their otherwise inactive routines”.
Sedentary lifestyle at workplaces has become one of the biggest culprits of health problems such as diabetes, ischemic heart diseases, neuropathy and obesity, among others. Recent news reports also claim that degenerative spine diseases, slip disc, narrow spinal cord and vertebral fractures are growing phenomena among UAE workers, particularly those chained to their desks. Moreover, sitting all day in head-forward and slumped-shoulder position can affect breathing and blood flow to the brain. It is also essential that people drink at least eight glasses of water every day, since insufficient water intake can lead to various health issues.
“The initial two months will focus on what we call, ‘Just Move’, which includes the four main pillars: work, stretch, drink, repeat,” said Dr Raza Siddiqui, CEO Arabian Healthcare Group and Executive Director, RAK Hospital, “Human body is not designed for long period of inactivity; however, the punishing demands of jobs leave very little time for workout. This is where a few well-timed measures can go a long way in dodging life-long ailments. We should also keep in mind that intense exercise after a long day of inactivity can potentially cause torn ligaments and bone and joint injuries. This is why one of the key activities in our programme is that the employees leave their desk and move about for various chores.”
Dr Yasmin Shaikh, Group Marketing Head, Arabian Healthcare Group added: “For example, we suggest that employees should walk away from their work stations every hour to get water instead of keeping filled water bottles with them. They should also drink a glass of water (250 ml) in three sips. Our aim is that every individual should drink minimum eight glasses of water every day to flush out toxins from the body and lead a healthy and productive life. Similarly, the workers can do a few light exercises to relax body muscles that can otherwise get very stiff giving way to cramps.”
Dr Jean Marc Gauer, CEO RAK Hospital, said: “We are reaching out to almost 300 corporates across the UAE and the exercise will benefit thousands of employees. For clearer instructions, there will also be visual guidelines on how to best do the exercises which are available with us. We’ll also ask corporates to send in their videos to see how well the programme was implemented; they can do live streaming of the Just Move campaign activities on their social media platforms. Later, we intend to have corporates health awards linked to this as well. Along with many other campaigns that RAK Hospital conducts regularly, we hope to create a healthier UAE”.
Recent research suggests that at least an hour of physical activity during the day is a must to offset the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle besides decreasing the risk of associated deaths. Another study on patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes suggests a significant reduction in after-meal rise in glucose, insulin and triglycerides after regular breaks during desk job.
A promising initiative undertaken by the Government of Ras Al Khaimah, Arabian Healthcare Group is a premium global healthcare management and consulting firm excelling at developing state-of-the-art hospitals not only in the Middle East, but also in the international healthcare arena.