Dubai pursues healthy living credo (gulfnews)
The Dubai Sports Council plans to change the mindset of people and make them get up and do things, thus transforming Dubai into an active, healthy city.
A series of free events are planned for two weeks across the emirate in coordination with Agita Mundo, an international organisation that promotes healthy living.
“People are slowly changing their behaviour,” said Murad Al Masri, press officer at the Dubai Sports Council.
He said three years ago a study had revealed that only 34 per cent of Dubai’s population was physically active. After the council initiated events, however, the percentage of people exercising has gone up to 36 per cent, he said.
Dubai and the UAE will be joining in the celebrations to mark ‘World Day for Physical Activity’ on April 6 and, hopefully, the entire population will come together for a happy and healthy life, Al Masri said.
Choice of locations
Dubai offers a host of places which can be accessed for free-to-pursue health-oriented activities and where one can exercise or have fun, he said. The initiative seeks to get people active as a large segment of the population suffers from various illnesses.
An international forum held in Dubai two years ago had recommended the launch of a social programme for physical activity and increasing designated areas for physical activities in parks and public areas that were open to a cross-section of society, Al Masri said.
The Sports Council is also urging government and private companies to arrange events for their staff to mark the World Day for Physical Activity.
Al Masri pointed out that a study released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that physical inactivity was the fourth main mortality factor in the world after blood pressure, smoking and diabetes.
A number of people suffer from obesity due to lack of exercise and a bad lifestyle choices, said Dr Yashar Ali, medical director of the Canadian Specialist Hospital. He said chatting and walking on the Corniche for two hours does not constitute physical activity. “The brisk walk should bring your heartbeat rate to over 110 beats per minute,” he said. He also advised making wise lifestyle choices, like eating healthier.
World Health Day
On Saturday, World Health Day also takes the theme ‘Ageing and Health’ to promote the awareness that good health adds years to your life. WHO notes that over the past century life expectancy has increased dramatically.
Dr Ali also called on people to get regular health check-ups done and get themselves screened for possible problems like high cholesterol and high blood sugar levels.
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