Monday, 16 July 2012

After a too short (aren’t holidays always too short) wonderful holiday in Sweden I’m back in the swing of Melbourne and ready to get more Australians into a fit and healthy lifestyle.  It’s always interesting to see what is new in how Sweden works with wellness. Swedes are in general more active than Australians due to a long tradition in riding bikes or walking to schools and work, and therefore more bike paths and more easy accesses to public transportation. But never the less is Sweden like many other countries in the world struggling with overweight and obese population.

I do feel though that they are approaching the problem in a healthy way.

GP’s in Sweden are rewarded if they follow-up patients with preventive care like nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles, the healthier their patients are the more funds the clinics gets.

Companies get certified as a Healthy Company if they fulfill certain healthy lifestyle criteria. It can be offering parking for bikes, fruit baskets, allowing exercising during office hours or organizing in-house competitions for more active lifestyles.

Instead of doing health assessments with the goal of finding out if the employees has high cholesterol, diabetes, or other bad lifestyle related symptoms, they work with a preventive health assessment goal. The employees are given a healthy lifestyle plan with exercises and healthy eating suggestions for preventing metabolic syndrome symptoms.

I think we are heading in the right direction here, but there is always room for improvement and changing habits takes a long time both for humans and society.      

Yours in Health & Fitness,

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