Bangkokians’ poor state of physical and mental health needs to be addressed, said Supreeda Adulyanon, manager of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth).
The Bangkok lifestyle, including stress from work, studying, traffic and environmental factors such as toxic dust, all contribute to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) that are taking their toll on the city’s residents, Mr Supreeda said.
Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and mental diseases are all classified as NCDs, many of which are caused by poor health management and lack of self-care. They account for 75% of deaths in Thailand, or 320,000 people a year.
To address this, ThaiHealth has teamed up with Bangkok Metro Networks Ltd (BMN) and Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM) to develop the “Healthy Station” project that aims to “use public space to promote a healthy lifestyle” among Bangkok residents, he said.
Mr Supreeda was speaking at a press conference held at the Lumphini Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) station on Friday to announce the launch of the Healthy Station project.
He said the project currently has a presence at three MRT stations — Lumphini, Queen Sirikit Centre , and Si Lom.
“Each station will use creative media to encourage passengers to adopt various forms of behaviour to improve their overall health and safety,” he said.
Mr Supreeda also gave examples of some of the health tips to be promoted.
“Smiling and laughing to improve mental health, wearing a motorcycle helmet, which has been statistically proven to save lives in road accidents, and moving the body sufficiently each day are among the encouraged behaviours,” he said.
Another special activity called “Moving to Overcome Office Syndrome” encourages people to do muscle relaxant workouts, which can be done anywhere, even on crowded public transportation like a train, he said. The project, he said, uses creative media to inform people how to do a muscle relaxant workout developed by sports scientists from Raipoong Academy under ThaiHealth.
“I think the Healthy Station project’s creative media is the beginning of how we can use public spaces to improve people’s health and influence people’s behaviour in a healthy way,” Mr Supreeda added.