Turkey Is Letting Some Employees Go To Work Late So They Can Exercise

A Turkish governor is reportedly allowing civil servants to replace the first portions of their workdays with exercise.

According to TIME, Dursun Ali Şahin, the governor of the Turkish province of Edirne, created a health policy for government workers known as Our Cure is Sport.

Under the policy, employees will be able to arrive at work an hour later than they usually would so they can exercise in the mornings.

A dietitian will also be supplied to each worker to assist in determining the best sport for his or her needs.

Turkey is the third most obese nation in its region: The population of overweight adults is 61.9 percent, and the population of obese adults is 27.8 percent, the World Health Organization reports.

Turkish proverbs suggest being overweight may still be a trait many aspire to in Turkey. According to one proverb,

A man without a belly is like a house without balcony.

The governor of Edirne made several other efforts to slim down his residents, according to BBC News. He banned the use of elevators for access to the first three floors of public buildings in January, and he instructed cafes to serve one cube of sugar with tea as opposed to the original Turkish tradition of two cubes.

The governor allegedly said,

I am thinking about joining the morning walks myself, it is very beneficial. Even those with high cholesterol can find a solution for their health problems here.

As of now, 70 people asked to participate in the initiative. However, it is not clear how the government will make sure the workers are using their hours exclusively for exercise.

Citations: Why Workers in Turkey Are Encouraged to Be Late For Work (TIME), Turkey Late starts for civil servants who exercise (BBC)