The Health Up! initiative that was launched on 27 November 2021 is a community wellness programme to help Tampines residents live healthier lives, through age-appropriate screening and the adoption of a healthier lifestyle.

How well can we live our lives as we grow older? The answer, we hope, will be “very well, of course”. But we can only enjoy our lives in our old age if we are healthy. It might sound daunting, but it is wholly possible with a little bit of help

Meet Health Up! – a free six-week holistic health and wellness programme for 250 Tampines residents aged 40 and above to improve population health in the community. The programme got off to a good start, with Tampines residents quickly filling up the 250 slots for its first recruitment efforts within days of the launch on 27 November 2021. In the heart of Our Tampines Hub, there was a buzz as people moved energetically to the music of the iconic Get Active Workout. The activity attracted curious stares and residents getting their groove on to the catchy beat on a Saturday afternoon.

Dr Sabrina Wee, Clinic Director (Designate) of the upcoming Tampines North Polyclinic and one of the clinician leads of Health Up!

“Health Up! Is a community wellness programme initiated by SingHealth Polyclinics to help individuals and their families to increase their health knowledge, identify and close screening gaps, and eventually adopt and sustain a healthier lifestyle,” said Dr Sabrina Wee, Clinic Director (Designate) of the upcoming Tampines North Polyclinic and one of the clinician leads of the programme.

It is led by SingHealth Polyclinics (SHP), in collaboration with healthcare and community partners including Changi General Hospital (CGH), Health Promotion Board (HPB), Tampines GRC and Sport Singapore (SportSG), to provide a holistic and structured health journey for participating residents.

These strategic partnerships form the foundations for the programme. Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Dr Wee elaborated further: “We are grateful to be able to tap on the expertise and resources of our colleagues at Changi General Hospital through their community screening events, our local GP partners with their clinics in your neighbourhoods, and our community partners. These partners have strong roots in the Tampines precinct to ensure more effective resident engagement, and long-term sustainability of healthy lifestyle habits in the community.”

Get updates on Tomorrow's Medicine in your mailbox!
Click here to subscribe

Helping residents live a sustainable healthy lifestyle

Explained Dr Wee: “Our recent survey of Tampines residents showed that although there was some readiness towards adopting a healthy lifestyle, residents cited challenges in sustaining it, such as the lack of energy and motivation, and concerns that a healthy lifestyle would be expensive to maintain.”

She continued on to add: “Health Up! was initiated to identify and close the screening gaps, and remove the barriers for the individual to adopt and sustain a healthier lifestyle.”

This is where SingHealth’s Wellbeing Coordinators will step up – creating a personalised care plan for the participating resident according to his or her needs. This range from recommending age-appropriate health screenings to overseeing diagnosis and treatment options, to guiding them through fitness and activity plans and connecting them to existing community based exercise programmes and Interest groups in Tampines.

Check out this video to find out more how the Wellbeing Coordinators will journey with participating residents throughout their six-week journey.

Living well and improving population health in Tampines

As people live longer in Singapore, improving population health to ensure that people enjoy a better quality of life even in their later years has become one of the most important things that SingHealth and its community partners are concerned with.

Maintaining population health is not just about treating illnesses as they are discovered. It is also about proactively preventing diseases from worsening, especially chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol – all of which have significantly better outcomes if diagnosed and treated early.

Related story: Population health – a new way forward

The best way to do this is to get people to care about their own health and be personally invested in living healthily; after all, people are far more likely to do something if they enjoy it and believe in it.

This is where Health Up! comes in: improving population health care for the community at Tampines, by introducing activities they will enjoy partaking in, as a means of staying active and healthy.

“The idea of bringing together the expertise and reach of healthcare providers and community partners into a single programme will bring about tremendous benefits to our residents,” said Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health & Ministry of Manpower, who also spoke at the launch event.

He added: “It is what we must do to intervene upstream and move population health towards Health Care and not Sick Care. Making positive lifestyle changes will give our aging population more healthy years and more fulfilling lives.”

Get updates on Tomorrow's Medicine in your mailbox!
Click here to subscribe

Keeping residents engaged in Tampines and beyond

As the programme gains traction, there are plans to expand it to include wearable devices to help participants be even more engaged in the tracking of their own health. Following the pilot at Tampines, SingHealth also plans to scale this programme to other towns in the Eastern region.

“Ultimately, we want to empower the individual to make healthier lifestyle choices that they can live out on a day-to-day basis,” stated Dr Koh emphatically. “I am confident that Health Up! will empower our residents to take charge of their health so that they may enjoy more years of wellness and not sickness, and a better quality of life.”

Check out this video for the highlights from the event launch at Our Tampines Hub.

Find out about Health Up!