Healthy Station: improving Bangkok resident life

PHOTO: "Healthy Station" is aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle among Bangkok residents by utilizing public spaces. (via Somchai Poomlard)

The Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) has expressed concern over the physical and mental health of Bangkok residents. They have launched the “Healthy Station” project which aims to promote a healthy lifestyle among Bangkok residents by utilizing public spaces.

Bangkok is not the healthiest environment to live in, with toxic dust and pollution, eternal traffic jams and the high stress of city life. People working and studying in the capital city are mired by these factors.

Unhealthy life in Bangkok is even contributing to the spread of non-communicable diseases, which are causing a significant number of deaths in Thailand. This prompted ThaiHealth to team up with Bangkok Metro Networks Ltd (BMN) and Bangkok Expressway and Metro (BEM) to launch the “Healthy Station” project.

The project was officially announced on Friday at the Lumphini Metropolitan Rapid Transit (MRT) station by Supreeda Adulyanon, the manager of ThaiHealth. Lumphini, Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, and Si Lom stations already have displays from the campaign set up.

According to Supreeda, the campaign at each station will encourage positive behaviours and subtly motivate people to live a more healthy lifestyle.

“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 healthily. 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.

“Each station will use creative media to encourage passengers to adopt various forms of behaviour to improve their overall health and safety.”

One particular initiative focuses specifically on a common lifestyle in Bangkok – the sedentary office worker. “Moving to Overcome Office Syndrome” teaches people stuck at a desk in the office all day how to do a muscle relaxant workout. The exercise was developed by sports scientists from Raipoong Academy under ThaiHealth. It was designed to be done anywhere, including on crowded public transportation like Bangkok’s bustling train systems.

The Healthy Station project is taking aim at non-communicable diseases that are prevalent in Thailand. Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and mental illnesses, are among the leading killers in Bangkok and beyond.

The majority of these diseases are a result of inadequate healthcare and insufficient self-care. They are responsible for 75% of deaths in the country, with a staggering 320,000 fatalities each year.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.