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HR specialists should play a role in workplaces

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, November 04, 2017

HUMAN Resource officers play an important role in ensuring employees live a healthy lifestyle.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services National Wellness Centres director Dr Isimeli Tukana said the majority of workers in the country were between the ages of 25 and 64.

He said there was a need for HR managers to promote a health-based workplace to ensure maximum productivity by workers.

Dr Tukana said the Fijian lifestyle had changed drastically over the years.

"They have their own eating and drinking styles which is very Fijian," he said.

"We have the seven gates of wellness in Fiji which are breathing, eating, drinking, exercise, resting, reproduction and family life.

"We are familiar with the eating, drinking and moving but what is coming up now is the thinking that monitors stress levels and the lack of sleeping.

"We are seeing that people are not sleeping enough and that is causing a lot of problems."

He said human resource managers should be aware of the seven lifestyles of a Fijian.

"Whether you like it or not we have transited. Before 1985 there was no transition in our lifestyle.

"It was in 1985 that we started to see that Fijians have transited in their lifestyle.

"We have found that Fijians have transited in their food style.

"If someone had to put a bowl of noodles and rourou in front of their child. They will choose the bowl of noodles. That is the change.

"You need to accept it as a manager of human resource that is the change.

"The person coming to work with you has most likely transited.

"There is nothing wrong with that but you need to understand that we are in that food transition.

"When talking to your employees, you have to understand they are eating chemically modified food.

"There is too much salt in their diet."

He said a Fijian's drinking style has also changed.

"We have changed the way we drink, the way we eat and the way we move."

He added a strategy that could be implemented by HR specialists was encouraging the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

He said a national survey carried out in 2011, showed 85 per cent Fijians ate less than five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

"Our alcohol consumption however, has increased," said Dr Tukana.

"In 2002, 21.6 per cent Fijians consumed alcohol daily.

"That increased in 2011 with 30.6 per cent Fijians drinking alcohol per day.

"As for physical activity, in 2011, only 20.8 per cent Fijians exercised daily."

Dr Tukana was one of the key speakers at the 2017 BSP Fiji Human Resource Institute National Convention in Denarau.

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