Govt employees to do mandatory weekly physical exercises in new directive

Kampala, (UG):- Government of Uganda has in a new directive instructed all workers in public officers to have a two-hour physical exercise every week in order to keep them fit and healthy.

The order revealed in a communique dated March 13, 2024, is issued from the Office of the President through Ms Lucy Nakyobe, the Head of Public Service and the Secretary to the cabinet.

Addressing Permanent Secretaries, Clerk to Parliament, and the Executive Directors of all government agencies, Ms Nakyobe said the two-hour weekly physical exercise session is aimed at promoting good health among others.

“This is to request you to institute a 2 hours weekly exercise session in your respective entities for purposes of promoting good health,” the letter reads in part.

She further directed that the subject matter be treated with urgent attention as this will help to reduce on fitness-related diseases.

“Give this the attention it deserves because it will help you to save the lives of your staff and reduce on the disease burden.”

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Research conducted in Germany relating to government employees indicates that the median age at which these persons became unfit for work was 52 in women and 55 in men.

Dr Richard Lukandwa, a fitness expert with a speciality in hypertension and how it affects their lives, notes that there is a high prevalence of the condition in Uganda. He cautions against the dangers of contracting high blood pressure because ‘it damages internal organs and is a silent killer’ before advising to embrace exercise to reduce the chances of contracting lifestyle diseases.

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“Physical activity is very important and any sort of exercise is very good. If you lose weight you reduce your chances of blood pressure, and diet also plays a very important role; have five fruits a day, reduce your salt intake, try to reduce the fat and carbohydrates, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables,” Lukandwa says, emphasizing that the medicine for high blood pressure is diet and exercise.

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