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Asia Minute: Thai Leader Orders Exercise for Civil Servants

wikipedia Commons
wikipedia Commons

If you plan to eat a lot on this Thanksgiving, you might want to consider exercise at some point. Increased activity is on the mind of Thailand’s leader this week—and he’s taking some unusual steps to spread the idea. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Thailand’s prime minister thinks government workers need to get out more.  Specifically, he wants them to get outside and exercise.  Prayuth Chanocha came to power in a military coup…he’s a former chief of the army and he’s no one’s idea of a democratically elected leader.

But he says Thailand’s civil servants need to exercise---and he’s setting aside time on every Wednesday afternoon for workers to do just that.  Other findings suggest that’s not a bad idea.

A group called the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance says inactivity in Thailand starts at a young age.  Earlier this month, that group released a report card for 38 countries based on physical activity.  Overall, Thailand got a D-.  It covered nearly 17,000 Thai school kids between the ages of six and 17.

One fact that hurt Thailand’s ranking: 70% of teens between the ages of 14 and 17 spend more than two hours a day on screen-based activities.  That includes television, computer games, and other online activities.

The World Health Organization advises school age kids to move for at least an hour a day.  For adults, the guidelines are for at least two and a half hours of exercise per week.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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