Ignorance is NOT bliss
According to the most recent Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey (JHLS III) (2016-17), fifty-four percent (54%) of Jamaicans were classified as overweight which may be linked to the finding that fifty-two percent (52%) of Jamaicans have made no attempt to increase their level of activity in the last year. There is a direct correlation between the highly sedentary and technology-driven habits we have adopted over the past decade and unless a deliberate effort is made to curb the current habits, the trend will only continue.
Additionally, JHLS III made mention that the national estimate for the prevalence of depression was 14.3%. The quantitative aspect of the study was corroborated by qualitative aspects, which revealed the following:
Individuals were affected by stress, financial constraints, and inaccessibility of healthy options which they believe affected their capacity for healthy behaviours.
Physical environment affected individuals’ health.
Although there was an awareness of healthy behaviours, awareness does not necessarily translate to healthy choices and behaviours.
It is significant to note that the health-seeking behaviour of males was also affected by our Jamaican “macho culture”.
The World Health Organization has provided a “healthy workplace global model” and commends organizations which:
- Promote and create an enabling environment for healthy behaviours among workers
- Establish tobacco-free workplaces
- Institute safe and healthy working environments through occupational safety and health measures
- Where appropriate, through good corporate practices, workplace wellness programmes and health insurance plans