Personal ownership among individuals, employers, government & industry leaders, first step to creating a culture of health in Singapore

5 April 2017 dot  10-min read
Singapore, with technological leadership and a strong public sector, is uniquely placed to explore more public-private partnerships to retain Singapore's leading position as the world's healthiest nation
Singapore, 5 April 2017 – The AIA Vitality Summit 2017 gathered close to 200 C-Suite executives and representatives from government agencies to discuss "Changing behaviours for a healthier workforce", of whom 58.5% indicated that improved employee engagement and retention was the most valuable benefit of a corporate health programme contributing to business success. This is the second AIA Vitality Summit hosted by AIA Singapore.
Delegates acquired practical advice from industry experts1 on how to successfully implement specific initiatives within their organisations to motivate behavioural change in the workplace and facilitate positive lifestyle changes for a healthier, more productive and engaged workforce.
In conjunction with the Summit, AIA Singapore hosted the inaugural AIA Vitality Dialogue Session this morning where 30 subject experts and thought leaders in health and wellness explored numerous ways to promote healthy living in Singapore with a focus on "What is required for Singapore to remain the world’s healthiest nation?" The discussion concluded with an agreement that Singapore, with technological leadership [1] and a strong public sector, is uniquely placed to explore more public-private partnerships to retain Singapore's leading position as the world's healthiest nation.
Key takeaways
1. Effective and sustainable corporate wellness programmes must be personalised based on an understanding of employees' motivations
  • Make it easier for employees to change behaviours by building these healthy choices into their everyday lives. This could be in the form of slow-moving treadmills in meeting rooms or placing fruits and healthy snacks at easily accessible areas.
  • Celebrate real stories that people relate to, shared Mr Peter Crewe. The importance of  "non-scale victories" was also raised – for example, instead of celebrating the loss of 5 kilograms, celebrate instead the ability to fit into a wedding dress.
  •  It takes 66 days to form a habit, and the health impact will be visible within three months. All it takes is motivation for 66 days, and companies can expect to observe improved health among their employees within three months.
  • Start small, because 'being on the right track is addictive,' shared Dr Carolyn Lam.
  • An example of this is United Test and Assembly Centre (UTAC)'s success shared by Mr Alexander Yap. A ground-up initiative to start a cycling group to improve the team's health led to significant weight loss of up to 16kg within five months as the team started cycling just round the block at first, and went farther with each trip. 
2. Knowing your health is the first step to improving your health
  • More than one in three (35.3%) business leaders believe that regular health screening for staff is the most effective in improving employees' health, found a live poll at the Summit.
  • Only one in four (25%) business leaders believe that their company's health is good or excellent, and delegates expressed interest in participating in Singapore's Healthiest Workplace by AIA Vitality3  to gain deeper insights into their organisation's baseline wellness status.
  • Digital tools increasingly give us the ability to monitor our health and pre-empt health issues, one of the trends that give us great opportunity to change the way we manage our health in the future, shared Dr Steven Tucker.
3. Today, all parties are more empowered than ever to make the right choices for themselves
  • While governments have tools such as regulation, taxation and education, there are limits to these as people want the freedom to choose. So it is about empowerment; governments empowering the private sector to empower individuals, shared Dr Derek Yach.
  • Dr Jeremy Lim shared a particularly impressive example of how the Occupational Safety and Health Standards in the Philippines requires companies to allocate manpower to a Health and Safety Committee including physicians and/or nurses depending on company size. The presence of these medical personnel encourages companies to explore different ways they can help to improve their companies' health.4
  • Companies in Singapore are empowered to make the right choices as the Government and health industry increasingly come together to support them on their health journey. Examples include programmes such as AIA Vitality and Singapore's Healthiest Workplace Survey, as well as HPB HealthHub, HPB Online and the Singapore Health Award, as shared by Mr Sim Beng Khoon. 
"To this end, AIA Singapore is committed to lead the charge and empower businesses to make a real change to their employees' health through our numerous health and wellness initiatives. We want to make a positive contribution to our community to help them live longer, healthier and better lives," said Mr. Patrick Teow, Chief Executive Officer, AIA Singapore.
AIA Singapore's efforts to promote health and wellness is in line with the nation's Healthy Living Master Plan's vision of bringing healthy living to the doorstep of every home, workplace and school.5
This includes the pioneering AIA Diabetes Care critical illness plan, specially curated AIA Quality Healthcare Partners panel of medical professionals, AIA Vitality Weekly Challenge mobile app, as well as two upcoming events: The Music RunTM by AIA (6 May 2017) and FitnessFest 2017 by AIA (20-21 May 2017). 
Other initiatives include KidZania Singapore's "AIA at the Stadium", sponsorship of the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and the AIA-SSSC (Singapore Spurs Supporters' Club) Futsal Tournament and Carnival, to engage individuals and families through one of Singapore's favourite sports, football. Most recently, AIA appointed David Beckham as its Global Ambassador to support the company in its goal of helping people in the Asia-Pacific region live longer, healthier, better lives. 
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Note to Editor: More videos, images and information available at
1 Refer to Appendix A for list of speakers and panellists at the AIA Vitality Summit 2017
3 Refer to Appendix B for more information on the Singapore's Healthiest Workplace 2017 by AIA Vitality survey
5 Ministry of Health Singapore (2014), "Healthy Living Master Plan". 

Appendix A: Speakers and panellists at AIA Vitality Summit 2017
Mr Sim Beng Khoon, Director, Health Promotion Board
Presentation: Changing behaviours for a healthier workforce in Singapore
Panel: How can companies encourage behavioural change and create a healthier workplace
Dr Derek Yach, Chief Health Officer, Vitality Group
Presentation: International best practices for changing behaviours for a healthier workforce
Panel: How can companies encourage behavioural change and create a healthier workplace
Dr Steven Tucker, Medical Specialist
Presentation: How digital tools can influence the lifestyle behavior of employees and patients
Panel: How can companies encourage behavioural change and create a healthier workplace
Mr Alexander Yap, Rewards Director, APAC, United Test and Assembly Center
Sharing: UTAC's corporate health success story
Dr Carolyn Lam, Senior Consultant of the National Heart Centre Singapore and Professor of Duke-NUS Cardiovascular Academic Clinical Program
Panel: How can companies encourage behavioural change and create a healthier workplace
Mr Peter Crewe, Chief Executive Officer, AIA Group Corporate Solutions
Panel: How can companies encourage behavioural change and create a healthier workplace
Dr Jeremy Lim, Partner, Health & Life Sciences practice, Oliver Wyman
Panel (moderator): How can companies encourage behavioural change and create a healthier workplace
Appendix B: Singapore's Healthiest Workplace 2017 by AIA Vitality
Singapore's Healthiest Workplace 2017 by AIA Vitality is a complimentary survey for companies to gain valuable insights into their organisation's baseline wellness status which will in turn effectively steer their future wellness initiatives towards better business outcomes such as improved productivity and lower medical costs. 
This comprehensive survey based on the well-established "Britain's Healthiest Workplace" seeks responses from both employers and employees to provide insights into corporate health.
Participating employers receive an in-depth report of their organisation's overall state of health and benchmarking information. It will also offer practical suggestions on how companies can best support improvements in employee health to reap the commercial benefits of increased productivity and lower medical costs.
Employees will receive a personalised report containing their Vitality Age, a holistic science-based indicator of health which takes into account exercise, nutrition and stress levels.
Registrations are open till Monday, 15 May 2017:
About AIA Vitality
In 2013, AIA Singapore became the first and only insurer to pay members as they get healthier with the launch of AIA Vitality.
AIA Singapore was also the first market to launch the AIA Vitality programme, a leading full scale wellness programme that works with individuals to make real change to their health. This is done by applying the principles of behavioural science; keeping individuals motivated by adding up the benefits of every healthy choice they make, no matter how small.
AIA Vitality is available to both individual policyholders and corporate clients, focusing on rewarding members for making choices that help them live a healthy life.
More information here:
About AIA
AIA Group Limited and its subsidiaries (collectively "AIA" or the "Group") comprise the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group. It has a presence in 18 markets in Asia-Pacific – wholly-owned branches and subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, New Zealand, Macau, Brunei, a 97 per cent subsidiary in Sri Lanka, a 49 per cent joint venture in India and representative offices in Myanmar and Cambodia.
The business that is now AIA was first established in Shanghai almost a century ago. It is a market leader in the Asia-Pacific region (ex-Japan) based on life insurance premiums and holds leading positions across the majority of its markets. It had total assets of US$185 billion as of 30 November 2016.
AIA meets the long-term savings and protection needs of individuals by offering a range of products and services including life insurance, accident and health insurance and savings plans. The Group also provides employee benefits, credit life and pension services to corporate clients. Through an extensive network of agents, partners and employees across Asia-Pacific, AIA serves the holders of more than 30 million individual policies and over 16 million participating members of group insurance schemes.
AIA Group Limited is listed on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited under the stock code "1299" with American Depositary Receipts (Level 1) traded on the over-the-counter market (ticker symbol: "AAGIY").
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