In recent years, the awareness of the importance of public health has increased significantly and maintaining a healthy body and mind is undoubtedly everyone’s daily wishes. Doing exercise is one of the ways to help people to fulfill their dreams as it can strengthen our body and improve our mind. The effectiveness of the aids from the state to help achieving the goal efficiently has also been put on the public’s discussion table. In this essay, will first examine the importance of exercise, following by analyzing how both Hong Kong and British government plays their role in ensuring its citizens exercise regularly and suggesting some follow-up actions.
To begin with, doing exercise can help to improve our health condition and makes us stronger. Exercise can be divided into four categories: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility which will give us benefits if we can finish them all. (Go4Life n.d.) Researches. (Mayo clinic 2014) has shown that working out will on one hand lower stress and on the other hand in reduce body fat which will makes us look fitter and healthier. Once body fat is reduced, it can also lower the blood pressure and maintain a smooth circular blood flow. Threats posed to our body due to high blood pressure can be ceased for example strokes.
Moreover, exercise shows a negative relationship with depressions. Endorphin is a hormone released when doing exercise which has a positive impact on our mood by making us happier and reducing rates of depression. This shows that the more we work out, the higher the level of happiness we can gain. Endorphins will diminish the perception of pain in brain will leads to positive feelings. (WebMD 2014) Social circle can also be widened when doing exercise as some of them require team work and players will have to co-operate with each other which increases their cohesions and boost their relationships. Take playing basketball as an example, team players will have to communicate and trust each other and pass the ball to one another so as to gain goals. Strong social support which resulted can reduce the chance of depression as ones attention has been increased. By contrast, without any work out may lead to suicide in some extreme cases. Studies done by Dhaval and Inas shows that there is a direct relationship between overweight status, depressive disorders, and suicidal behaviors. Overweight adolescents will have a low self-esteem as they are labeled as “fat boy” which makes them having a weak self-confidence and body dissatisfaction. (Dhaval & Inas 2009) As exercising can relate to life and death issues, it proves that it is of high importance that regular exercises are needed to maintain our body health.
Next, the government should also play an important role in dealing with healthcare issue of citizens. According to recent reports, (Ko 2010; Chapman 2014) both Hong Kong and Britain are facing a problem of increased death rates due to obesity. This is mainly due to the increasing personal populous and changing in lifestyle characteristics with reduced in physical activity but increase in food intake which results in chronic diseases. With reference to the Hong Kong government’s official website, it has made a step forward to tackle this problem by introducing the National Fitness Day on 8th August annually (GovHK 2010). This offers its local citizens in free of charge sporting experience in appointed sports center in 18 districts of Hong Kong for example dancing play-in, fitness corner and some fitness and health talk and workshops. Parent-child activities are also available which can promote their relationships. Through this event, it can surely arouse the publics’ attention in doing sports and even increases their own interest in developing certain type of sports.
However, British government only did limited actions in developing citizens’ sportsmanship with the exception of London Olympics 2012 (Olympic.org 2013) which reveals more Britain are dead due to overweight and obese kept increasing and the figure is even 50 percent more when comparing to France as Chapman said. It is believed the British government should take Hong Kong as a reference to ensure its citizens involve in sports more often. By introducing reward system can increase their attention in doing sports and they will be more willing to do so. Also, public sports centers with low membership fees can also be established so as to help low income families to enjoy this entertainment in low cost. Promotions and advertisements are needed so more people will know about it and raise their awareness of it. Due to the high authority of the government, it will hopefully help to promote exercise in Britain more effectively and testify to the success of Hong Kong in promoting sports to its residences.
In addition, citizens maintaining good health will also benefit the state. With a poor health condition, worker will result in absentee from work and will decrease the productivity of the firm. (Krol at el., 2012) During the absent period, it may be difficult for the company to find a perfectly suitable substitute as the productivity loss will be unpredictable as workers are not assigned to the right jobs. Profits will be lost and reduces the economic growth of the nation (Wei at el., 2011). Also, as mentioned earlier, suicide incidents of workers can also affect the company. Foxconn, the production factory of Apple products is one of the place where often heard of workers there committed suicide due to poor working conditions and loneness ( BBC 2010). This will in no doubt damage the reputation of the firm and affect sales.
However, if there can be enough work out for the labor, they will feel less stressed and more happy to work. Unwanted accidents can be avoided. One of the main responsibilities of citizens is to contribute to the society that we should produce to the profit maximizing output to help maintaining the labor force of our place to maintain efficiency. With good health, workers are able to work more efficiently as they can perform well and show their own talents. Productivity will then increase as a result of stimulating economic growth which will benefits the society. With better economic conditions, people are able to afford their own lives and have a higher standard of living. In order to avoid ceasing production process and reducing efficiency of firms, the government to a high extent should be responsible to regulate rules to help its citizens in public health issues.
However, some may argue that it is our own responsibility to stay healthy which means we should not rely on the state. Health is a long-term investment which can be determinates by ourselves and we are personally responsible daily. Some may also say that (Sherman 2012) good health will be attained if effort is given and we prioritize it well. Long-term effort is needed so as to balance our body, mind and effort. Exercise is a personal activity which depends on the individual willingness. If the government force them to work out, they may feel discontented and conflicts between the two parties will exist. Costs will be involved in dealing with the disputes which exploits interests of them. Furthermore, people may think that they will have their own practice to maintain health for example controlling their diet such as following the food pyramid (GovHK 2012). Parents also play vital role in dealing with the health conditions of their children. Healthy lifestyle practices should be nurtured since small so they will pay more intention to that even when they grow up. In addition, supports from schools should also be given to students for example setting up more physical education classes and also extra-circular activities related to sports so as to increase their amount of physical exercise. It is undouble that teaching from parents to their children is the most effective way to convey the idea of health to them as most children tend to listen to their parents more than anyone else. Therefore some believe that it is not the state’s responsibility and it should not intervene with people’s daily routines.
To conclude, although some people may be dissatisfied if the government meddle with their exercise pattern, it is of paramount importance which the state should be responsible to deal with the health issues of its citizens as this is one of its responsibilities. If the state help to preserve the public’s exercising rhythm, it can reduce the disease-related problems and it is much easier for the state to intervene due to its high authority. At the same time, it will also bring positive impacts like increasing productivity which benefits the society. As a result, to a large extent the state should help in ensuring its citizens exercise regularly in order to maintain a good health.
1. Blanch, B, 2010. Foxconn suicides: ‘Workers feel quite lonely’. BBC online, [online] 28 May 2010. Available at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10182824> [16 May 2014].
2. Chapman, J, 2014. Britain’s obesity death rate. [online] Available at: [Accessed 04 May 2014]
3. Dhaval, D and Inas, R., 2009. Overweight status, self-perception, and suicidal behaviors among adolescents. Social Science & Medicine, [e-journal]. 68(9) Available through: Lancaster University Library website [Accessed 15 February 2014].
4. Go4Life n.d., 4 Types of Exercise. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 May 2014]
5. GovHK, 2010. Sport For All Day” on August 8 promotes benefits of regular exercise. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10
6. GovHK, 2012. The Food Pyramid -A Guide to a Balanced Diet. [online] Available at:< http://www.cheu.gov.hk/eng/info/exercise_07.htm> [Accessed 10 May 2014]
7. Krol, M ; Brouwer, W ; Severens, J ; Kaper, J ; Evers, S., 2002. Productivity cost calculations in health economic evaluations: Correcting for compensation mechanisms and multiplier effects. Social Science & Medicine, [e-journal] Abstract only. Available through: Lancaster University Library website < http://onesearch.lancs.ac.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/display.do?frbrVersion=5&tabs=detailsTab&ct=display&fn=search&doc=TN_sciversesciencedirect_elsevierS0277-9536(12)00553-9&indx=3&recIds=TN_sciversesciencedirect_elsevierS0277-9536(12)00553-9&recIdxs=2&elementId=2&renderMode=poppedOut&displayMode=full&frbrVersion=5&dscnt=1&scp.scps=scope%3A%2844LAN_ALMA_DS%29%2Cscope%3A%2844LAN_ML_DS%29%2Cprimo_central_multiple_fe&frbg=&tab=quicksearch&dstmp=1400453092549&srt=rank&mode=Basic&dum=true&tb=t&vl(freeText0)=absenteeism%20productivity&vid=LUL_VU1> [Accessed12 May 2014].
8. Ko, G, 2010. Obesity in Hong Kong – Risk and Burden. [online] Available
at: [Accessed 15 May 2014]
9. MAYO Clinic, 2014. Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity. [online] Available at: < http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389> [ Accessed 10 May 2014]
10. Olympic.org, 2013. London 2012. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 May 2014]
11. Sherman, S, 2012. Healing, Health and Self-responsibility. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 May 2014]
12. WebMD, 2014. Exercise and Depression. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 February 2014].
13. Zhang, W ; Bansback, N and Aslam H.A.,2011. Measuring and valuing productivity loss due to poor health: A critical review. Social Science & Medicine, [e-journal] 72(2), 185-192. Available through Lancaster University Library website [15 May 2014]