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Age has place a lid on my health and productivity - truth or myth?

Isaiah Chng, CEO and strategist at UP Health, Clinical exercise physiologist

· Physical Activity

In our line, we hear many stories of how employees struggle with aches and pains as they mature, especially if theirs is a labour intensive role. But it’s important to note that these complaints are not isolated to the blue-collar worker. In fact, many white-collar workers too experience a toll on their bodies over years of long periods of sitting, poor posture and stress which affects their concentration at work.

 

Statistics show that about 40% of the population is facing an existing chronic health condition; a situation even more prevalent amongst older people. With issues like diabetes, depression, sleep apnea and associated physical aches present, the mature worker’s body struggles with low energy, shorter attention spans, and more frequent visits to the doctor. This affects even the most hard working and best employee.

But can nothing be done when a person's body goes through the natural process of ageing? It is at this point that I would like to bust the age-old myth that physical frailty observed with the ageing body cannot be reversed. While it is true that the body deteriorates over the years, our abilities to cope can certainly be improved with targeted support that is both relevant and age-appropriate.

I would like to use the analogy of a car to describe our mature demographic today. Every car has an engine capacity that powers it. Naturally, with greater engine capacity, the greater the power output. However, after driving for some time, the car needs maintenance to keep it efficient. It may have the capacity but may not be able to perform to the fullest.

Likewise, people who intentionally go through health "maintenance" through equipping themselves with the relevant health skills and knowledge to actively manage their health and associated chronic conditions, can ensure that their “engine capacities” are in “top condition”.

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