National Baking Company became the first corporate company to launch an internal Jamaica Moves programme.

The launch, held last Friday at the company’s headquarters, came days after the Ministry of Health set in motion the Jamaica Moves Get Moving Corporate Challenge.

The challenge will target private- and public-sector companies through a friendly performance-based competition. It will be done using the Running Events calendar, where companies are encouraged to enter up to six 5K races over a four-month period, from September to December 2017. The races in the circuit include the FLOW/PUMA Fortis 5K and Colour Me Happy in September, CUMI Come Run and JN Foundation Heroes in Action 5K in October, CB UWI 5K and Reggae Marathon in November and December, respectively.

Tiffany Wong, special projects – office of the chairman at Continental Baking Company and overall winner of the Jamaica Moves Get Moving Challenge, said as the overall winner for the Get Moving Challenge she was inspired to start the company’s internal programme – Fitness and Fun.

“I realised and could appreciate more and more how important it is to keep moving. I thought about how many people in the office are literally just sitting behind their desk and not doing any physical activity and we don’t have a fitness programme in place at all, so I decided to plan a health and wellness team,” Wong said.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, who joined the workout at the launch, commended National for taking this first step in providing leadership for the rest of Jamaica’s corporate entities to follow.

Tufton noted that it was good business sense for employers to encourage their employees to be healthy, alert and to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

“It makes employees happier people, more contented, provides them with the energy level to produce more and be more productive. It really impacts the bottom line of any entity if your overall company profile in terms of the health of your employees is positive,” he explained.

National’s Fitness and Fun will be a series of physical activity-based events moving forward.

What is the Jamaica Moves
Get Moving Corporate Challenge?
The JAMAICA Moves Get Moving Corporate Challenge is open to small and large organisations.

– Small organisations can register up to 50 employees and large organisations can register up to 100.

– Companies can sign up for the challenge by visiting the Jamaica Moves website or calling 297-MOVE (6683).

– At the end of the challenge, companies and staff with the most points will be awarded. The awards include Company Spirit, Male and Female Champion.

– An organisation’s perfor-mance will be calculated based on the amount of points its members have accumulated. The organisation that has accumulated the most points will be declared the Jamaica Moves Get Moving Challenge Champion.

– The Jamaica Moves Get Moving Corporate Challenge has become increasingly important in light of a 2011 study by the World Bank, titled Public Policy and the Challenge of Chronic Non Communicable Diseases, which estimated that an individual suffering from any NCD spends approximately one-third of household per capita expenditure on health-care services and the purchase of pharmaceutical drugs.

– Jamaica Moves is the country’s coordinated national response to the increased incidences of NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers.

– Through education, engagement and the building of supportive environments, the programme hopes to reduce NCDs by 25 per cent by the year 2025.

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