“Health is wealth!” Associate Professor Lau Tang Ching opened the National University of Singapore (NUS) Greater Good Series event titled: Strategies for Healthy Ageing and Longevity with the age-old mantra.
The Senior Consultant at the Division of Rheumatology, National University Health System and Vice Dean (Education) at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine chaired the afternoon’s programme where speakers shared strategies adopted to strengthen the health of Singapore’s ageing population.
According to Associate Professor Reshma Merchant, Head of Geriatric Medicine at the National University Hospital (NUH), studies revealed that the prevalence of frailty and prefrailty in the local community is close to 50%. Frailty is a common geriatric syndrome that embodies an elevated risk of decline in health and function among the elderly.
“We can intervene before disability sets in. The goal is to prolong healthy living with good healthy ageing programmes,” Assoc Prof Merchant informed.
Another study showed that diabetics have a higher prevalence of frailty amongst the elderly.
Dr Lingaraj Krishna, Head of Sports Medicine and Surgery at NUH and an orthopaedic surgeon, posed a question to the audience: “In the last three months, who has exercised for less than 30 minutes, for less than three times a week?”
He emphasised that a sedentary lifestyle is the enemy of healthy ageing, illustrating with an example of a study on sudden deaths in London bus conductors and drivers. Sudden death rates from coronary artery disease for the active conductors were found to be half that of sedentary bus drivers.
“The World Health Organisation recommends 150 minutes per week of physical activity. But anything less still gives benefits,” Dr Krishna highlighted.
Dr Krishna will be leading the new Active Centre at Alexandra Hospital, which targets patients with chronic illnesses who require physical activity as much as medicine. His vision is to prescribe exercise as a standard treatment option for all patients.
“Exercise is the only prescription with unlimited refills!” he quipped.
The NUS Greater Good Series and Forums are a series of intimate dialogue sessions and workshops that allow the audience to connect with the speaker on topics related to philanthropy as well as issues that impact community and society. For further information on the NUS Greater Good Series and Forums, contact the Events team at firstname.lastname@example.org.