Singaporeans are a pretty health-conscious bunch, despite our predilection for putting soya sauce inside virtually every dish that we have (all that sodium!). However, our thirst for wellness goes far beyond just eating and… eating. Beyond folksy remedies, wellness permeates every aspect of a Singaporean’s life. From our wall colours to our mobile phone stickers, there’s a secret health reason for everything we do.

Don’t believe me? Here are five practices that show you just how important “wellness” is for Singaporeans.

1. Giving your eyes a break every 40 minutes

The eyes have it. Credit: Pixabay

The eyes have it. Credit: Pixabay

Half of all Singaporeans are myopic by the time they reach the age of 12 (which just so happens to be the age they take the PSLE…). It might not seem that way because we’re all vainpots who either wear contact lenses or go for LASIK. But it’s become so bad that the government actively promotes breaks after 40 minutes of work, lest we collectively go blind or use up all the glass in the world to make our spectacles.

Specifically, you’re supposed to take a break after 40 minutes of “near work”, which is classified as reading or writing. It coincides with school periods, which are 30 minutes long (so you have time to rest your eyes as you chant “Thank you and goodbye Mr/Mrs XXX).

Inculcating wellness from a young age!

2. Massages 

A good massage at the end of the day. Credit: Pixabay

A good massage at the end of the day. Credit: Pixabay

If there are shops nearby, you can be sure that there is a massage parlour among those shops. Massage centres are ubiquitous in Singapore, from the HDB heartlands to shopping centres. You may be wondering what goes on behind those tinted glass doors, but massages do have many health benefits! It’s just that they seem awfully sleazy sometimes.

Massages are truly one of the most enjoyable forms of wellness in our stressful, hectic country.

3. Fish spas

Nothing fishy here. Credit: Fish Spa Facebook Page

Nothing fishy here. Credit: Fish Spa Facebook Page

Fish spas are places where you let minuscule fish nibble the dead skin off your feet. They let doctor fish (also known as the Garra rufa) into a pool of water where you stick your feet in, and the treatment is said to… I’m not very sure what it purportedly does. It’s supposed to treat the symptoms of psoriasis, a skin disease, but it doesn’t cure it.

In fact, it’s pretty gross when you think about it. These fish have nibbled on other people’s feet, and now they’re nibbling on yours. Would you rub your feet against a total stranger’s feet?

4. Anti-radiation mobile phone stickers

Anti-radiation. Credit: Radia Smart Facebook Page

Anti-radiation. Credit: Radia Smart Facebook Page

It’s not debatable whether our mobile phones emit radiation, because as electronic devices, some form of radiation will definitely be produced through its functioning. What is debatable is whether the amount of radiation emitted is significant enough to affect humans, and whether anti-radiation stickers actually reduce radiation enough to make a statistical difference. The fad might have died down, but if you look hard enough, you can still find anti-radiation stickers for your mobile phone.

Or, you know, you could use your phones less.

 

5. Anti-glare screens

Protect your eyes. Credit: Newhorrizon Facebook Page

Protect your eyes. Credit: Newhorrizon Facebook Page

And finally, Singaporeans practice wellness by using anti-glare screens wherever possible. Anti-glare screens have a very palpable and immediate effect, in the sense that they reduce the strain on the eyes by making screens less glaring without making them turn dim. And since we only have one pair of eyes to use, it’s important to keep them safe and healthy.

I still think that the best solution is to reduce our use of mobile devices though.

A Cure for Wellness. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

A Cure for Wellness. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Does it sound like wellness is, well, a disease? That’s the idea in A Cure for Wellness, which is a psychological horror film about an isolated rehabilitation centre in the Swiss Alps. When a young executive is sent to retrieve his chief executive officer from the centre, he discovers that there seems to be a problem in that idyllic haven of recuperation.

Perhaps he might find A Cure for Wellness there after all.

 

Credit: Pixabay, Pixabay, Fish Spa Facebook Page, Radia Smart Facebook Page, Newhorrizon Facebook Page, Golden Village Cinemas