KPA moots programme to tame overweight staff

A leading state agency has started the process of ensuring that its strong workforce is not overweight.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) announced that in its bid to promote employee wellness, it has launched a weight loss campaign aimed at curbing obesity and weight related issues within the workforce.

And for a start, 100 employees drawn from various departments will benefit from the pilot programme courtesy of the KPA Medical Services Department. 

General Manager Engineering Services, Eng. Rashid Salim presided over the launch of the program dubbed "Simply Healthy Program 2019: The path to better living" at Bandari College on behalf of the Managing Director Dr. Arch. Daniel Manduku. 

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He urged the facilitators including a nutritionist, fitness instructor and the medical personnel to commit themselves in giving the best to ensure KPA's weight loss and wellness programme contributes positively on the Authority's strategic benefits. 

"This is a noble initiative and we do hope that it will ultimately improve the overall health and well-being of the workforce," said Eng. Salim. 

He added that a healthy workforce directly translates to improved productivity and improved performances at the workplace.

The workers participating in the work out exercise have been grouped into 10 teams and in the next six months upon completion, the successful participants will be rewarded at individual and team levels.

KPA Chief Pharmacist Dr John Jao who represented the Head of Medical Services regretted the increasing number of non-communicable diseases as a result of physical inactivity and unhealthy diets

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“Having a lot of weight doesn’t mean you are obese and being big does not mean you are unhealthy.  Good health is as a result of our behaviours and therefore exercising and a good diet can be helpful in dealing with it,” said Dr. Jao.

Clinical officer, Ms Selma Mwarua told the participants that obesity and overweight together are the second leading cause of preventable death after smoking worldwide.

“Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent it may have a negative effect on health,” she added.

The medics said health problems associated with obesity include hypertension, liver disease and reproductive problems. Obesity is caused by among others; lack of physical activity, genetics, food choices and changing society.  

On the other hand the benefits of physical exercises include; cardiovascular fitness, healthy weight, improved posture, reduced blood cholesterol, better sleep, boosted self-esteem and confidence, improved concentration, reduced stress and enhanced social skills.

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“Being fit is a way of saying a person eats well, gets a lot of physical activity and has a healthy weight. If you are fit your body works well, feels good and can do all that you want to do,” Selma added.

Kenya Ports AuthorityKPAObesity