Staff and students were reminded to adopt good eating habits and exercise regularly during the safety, security and health campaign organised by WOU’s Safety & Security Committee (SSC) in the main campus today.
In her talk on “Healthy Eating and Active Living”, Senior Clinical Dietitian from Loh Guan Lye Specialists Centre, Wendy Yeow Kim Sian, shared some staggering figures. “Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Over 600 million were obese. And 42 million children under age 5 were overweight or obese in 2013.”
She said a body mass index (BMI) – weight in kilograms over height in m2 – of less than 18.5 is underweight, with 18.5-24.9 normal, 25.0-29.9 overweight, and over 30.0 obese. She highlighted that almost 50% population in Malaysia are overweight or obese, and that the waist circumference for Malaysian males should be less than 90 cm/36 inches and females less than 80 cm/32 inches.
She showed the differences in calories from various types of rice and cooking methods. “Choose low fat, low sugar and high fibre options,” stressed Yeow. For a balanced diet, she encouraged a half plate portion of vegetables, quarter plate proteins and quarter plate grains. She advised to read labels of cooking oils to know which cooking method it is suitable for and to know the composition of saturated fats.
She remarked that exercise, in addition to diet control, is important for weight loss. “For normal weight loss, you need 200 minutes of exercise. I usually suggest 60 minutes exercise 3 times a week or 30 minutes 6 days a week. For healthy people, you need 30 minutes exercise, 2-3 times a week, for health maintenance. Also, have plain water after exercise.”
Muhamad Nor Hikshan Sam, Factories & Machinery Inspector, Department of Occupational Safety & Health (DOSH), spoke on ‘Ergonomic Safety’, which is about “designing the job to fit the worker” to prevent injury or illness, and make the job easier and more pleasant by reducing physical and mental stress.
He said musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) can result from the overuse and misuse of muscles, tendons and nerves, e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome. The ergonomic physical risk factors for office-related MSDs are repetition, awkward position or posture, and excessive pressure or forceful exertions, while the environmental risk factors are extreme temperature, noise and lighting, he added.