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Hanover Parish Library to host workplace wellness expo this Thursday

Published:Friday | September 23, 2016 | 12:00 AMClaudia Gardner


The Hanover Parish Library will host its first-ever workplace mini fitness exposition this Thursday, in collaboration with the Hanover Health Services, on the lawns of the library at Watson Taylor Drive in Lucea.

The event will be held under the theme 'Love Your Body, Treat Your Body Right". According to acting regional director of the Jamaica Library Service, Marvetta Stewart-Richards, the day's activities will also be open to the public and will include the launch of a fitness programme for the Hanover Parish Library network, demonstrations, displays and health checks.

"We begin at 10 a.m. and will be offering free blood pressure, sugar, cholesterol and body mass index checks," Stewart-Richards said. "Courts is also expected to bring fitness equipment and we will also have food displays from the Hanover 4-H, RADA, Veteran Farmers' Alliance, the Seventh-day Adventists ... . We want them to see that the food that you eat can be your medicine.

"This programme is important because some pre-checks were done and it was recognised that most of us were overweight, and high blood pressure was a little prevalent there as well," she added.




She said the idea of the fitness programme for the Hanover Parish Library network arose after health promotion officer for Hanover, Lilleith Glen, invited the organisation to participate in a workplace wellness seminar which was staged by the Western Regional Health Authority earlier this year.

"They were focusing on workplace wellness, so each entity was asked to prepare a proposal for a programmme at their workplace. So I just worked with Ms Glenn and we came up with something and we continued to meet and have regular discussions, and this is the outcome," Stewart-Richards said.

"We feel that once we are healthy, we will have less sick days. One of our main challenge is to lose, collectively, 100 pounds. Financial wellness is also important because if you are sick, you spend money at the doctor that can be spent on other things. So we will have two days of exercise, but each staff must do half an hour on their own," she said.

The Hanover Parish Library network has approximately 40 staff members and Stewart-Richards says she is hoping that they will introduce healthy lifestyles to their respective communities as the Ministry of Health seeks to promote greater awareness on the need for a healthy population.

"We want persons to take it into our homes and communities so we can have a healthier nation overall. We are trying to promote healthy lifestyles generally, and are hoping other workplaces will start. I don't think it is popular in Hanover, so we are happy to be the pioneers and lead from the front," she said.