Rainforest Seafoods recently became the latest corporate company to launch their internal Jamaica Moves programme. The launch, held at the company’s headquarters, follows the Ministry of Health’s Jamaica Moves Get Moving Corporate Challenge launched in July this year.
Bethany Young, marketing manager at Rainforest Seafoods, pointed out that the core of what the company does is related to living a healthy lifestyle, making reference to the products they manufacture and sell – seafood. She further explained that it was a no-brainer for the company to get involved in the Jamaica Moves Get Moving Corporate Challenge, since participating in 5Ks is almost innate to the company and its employees.
“It’s part of our company culture. It’s who we are. We’ve always been a participant of 5Ks and a lot of physical activities for years. We saw the Jamaica Moves Corporate Challenge as an opportunity for our team members to get out there, to participate in something fun, inspiring and good for them,” Young said.
Alison Sutherland, special projects manager at Rainforest Seafoods and team leader for the physical activity at the company, noted that the company has been able to develop a healthy habit for recreational activity because they have the support of their chief executive officer (CEO), Brian Jardim; general manager Jerome Miles; other executives and senior management within the company.
“The leader has to support it and that’s what we have here. Our CEO supports what we are doing. Without a support system, it’s not going to happen,” Sutherland said.
Adding to what Sutherland said, Bethany made mention of Jardim, who along with his wife, Shelagh, participate in almost every 5K run that their company is involved in.
“It feels like a team activity. Everybody is involved. Every level of the company is invited,” Young said.
The company also took it a bit further to encourage employees to get their family members active as well. Young explained that in a lot of the 5K runs, the company allows employees to bring a family member, which the company pays for. Winners and participants in the 5K races are also given special commendation in the company’s newsletter and featured on their social media pages.
The Friday afternoon workout session is aimed at getting employees within the company to engage in 30 minutes of physical activity each day in an attempt to reduce their risk of contracting a non-communicable disease (NCD). The company currently has a similar programme at their Montego Bay, St James office, where they invite a personal trainer in. Sutherland said other employees now do their own workout sessions at home, while others have joined the gym.
“We are an active team,” Sutherland said with a smile.
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.
Source: Jamaica Gleaner