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Proposal to Distribute Still-functional Fitness Trackers Purchased for National Steps Challenge

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song
MP for Aljunied GRC

Question No. 1516

To ask the Minister for Health whether HPB will consider distributing all the still-functional fitness trackers from among the 341,000 excess fitness trackers purchased for the National Steps Challenge seasons 1 to 5, to members of the public in order to promote exercise and fitness instead of disposing them.

Written Answer

In planning for the various seasons of the National Steps Challenge, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) would estimate demand based on past seasons’ trend and projected increases in demand due to the new season’s eligibility criteria. However, this resulted in an over-estimation of the demand, and surplus of 341,000 fitness trackers.

Of the excess fitness trackers, 120,000 remain functional. 48,000 have been used to replace faulty trackers, and those with expired warranties. About 3,000 trackers have also been used to support community partners, companies, and other government agencies in their health and wellness initiatives. The remaining 69,000 functional trackers will continue to be used for similar purposes. Unfortunately, the rest of the excess fitness trackers have been disposed of, as they have exceeded the average useful life or were no longer functional.

HPB has conducted a full review of the matter. It has enhanced the processes for central monitoring of the movement and stocks of fitness trackers. HPB now tracks movement across and at all distribution channels closely on a daily basis to detect signs of excesses building up. Audits and physical stock checks will also be done twice a year instead of annually. Excess inventory from previous years will be counted towards providing trackers for the following year’s activity. 

Moving forward, HPB will be more conservative in its projections of the number of fitness trackers to be procured. Any additional purchase of trackers will be done only when excess bookings are received from participants. HPB has also broadened the criteria of replacement for the 1-to-1 exchange and will proactively inform our participants so that they will come forward to exchange the trackers if their trackers are defective. 

MOH will closely monitor the implementation of these measures, and work with HPB to determine accountability and the prudent use of resources as we continue with our efforts to encourage Singaporeans to adopt healthier lifestyles. 

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