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MoH and WHO promote physical activity to prevent non-communicable diseases

MoH and WHO promote physical activity to prevent non-communicable diseases

Photo Tatoli/Filomeno Martins

LAUTEM, 22 july 2023 (TATOLI) – The Ministry of Health (MoH), with the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has installed an outdoor gym in the municipality of Lautem to promote physical activity, which is crucial to prevent and control non-communicable diseases.

Health Minister, Élia dos Reis Amaral said that physical activity contributes to preventing and managing non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, hypertension, stroke, and diabetes. 

“This open-air gym is extremely important for local communities to do physical activities, which will lead to a reduction in the risk of having non-communicable diseases,” said Minister Élia at the inauguration ceremony of the open-air gym, in Lautém, on saturday.

At the same place, WHO Representative to Timor-Leste, Arvind Mathur said the outdoor gym is a set of equipment for the local communities to do different exercises. 

He said the installation of the outdoor gym is to cultivate a culture of physical activity at the community level.

“The idea is that this open-air gym will promote physical activity among young people as well as the elderly and children. Because physical activity is very critical. WHO recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise every day,” said Mathur. “Physical activity and mobility reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases.”

According to him, the idea of the outdoor gym is also to convey a message not only about physical activity but also to promote a healthy zone: “This outdoor gym can become a health premise.”

“This health premise is promoting physical activity, promoting no tobacco messages, and promoting a healthy lifestyle,” he stressed. 

The outdoor gym makes exercise free and accessible to everyone in Lautem municipality. All citizens can enjoy all the benefits, such as cardio exercises, strength training, increased blood flow, flexibility, etc.

According to WHO, physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for non-communicable diseases. People who are insufficiently active have a 20% to 30% increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.

In 2018, WHO launched a new Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030 which outlines four policy action areas and 20 specific policy recommendations and actions for the Member States, international partners, and WHO, to increase physical activity worldwide.

According to the data from the WHO, NCDs are estimated to account for 45% of all deaths.

 

Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges

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