Exercise is for everyone. All ages from all walks of life can and must engage in regular physical activity.

The Department of Health (DOH) spearheads a fitness event featuring different sports activities, dubbed“Ehersisyo Pangkalusugan Para sa Lahat 2011”, to encourage everyone to exercise. The event will be held on May 15 this year at the Quezon City Memorial Circle (QCMC) from 5:30am to 10:00am. President Benigno S. Aquino III will lead the activity.

The WHO said that “current levels of physical inactivity are partly due to insufficient participation in physical activity during leisure time and an increase in sedentary behavior during occupational and domestic activities. Likewise, an increase in the use of “passive” modes of transport has also been associated with declining physical activity levels.”

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) National Nutrition and Health Surveys in 2003 to 2008 (Acuin and Duante, 2010) showed that almost the entire adult population has low levels of physical activity in all areas namely: occupation, leisure, and transportation. In 2003, 67% (6 out of 10) of males had minimal physical activity on the job while in 2008, the number rose to 76.3% (7 out of 10). Among women, 82.1% (8 out of 10) had minimal physical activity on the job in 2003 and the data in 2008 declined to 76.2% (7 out of 10). At leisure, 90% of males in 2003 had physical activity less than two times a week and this number declined in 2008 to 89.1%. Among women, 95.5% in 2003 had physical activity less than twice a week and this number increased to 95.7% in 2008. 

“Physical inactivity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona declared.  

In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) Report revealed that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) cause an estimated 35 million deaths each year. Six percent of these deaths are due to four main NCDs namely cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory diseases, and cancers. In the Philippines, these diseases are among top killers causing more than half of deaths annually. Ona added that these diseases could be prevented by eliminating shared risk factors like physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and harmful use of alcohol.

“As a response to this growing challenge, The DOH is implementing an integrated approach to reduce mortality, morbidity and disability from NCDs through promotion of healthy lifestyle with focus on addressing the common risk factors leading to these diseases,” Ona explained.

On May 15, participants are expected to be at the assembly point of the different events: Batasan Pambansa along Batasan Rd. Quezon City, for biking (8km to QCMC) at 6am. Simultaneously, for jogging/walking (3km to QCMC) participants will assemble at the U.P.Diliman Sunken Garden at 5:30am while jogging/walking (2km to QCMC) participants will assemble at the North Ave.-Trinoma (Open Parking Area) at 5:30am.

This activity will be participated in by government offices, local government units, non-government organizations, government and privately owned hospitals, medical professionals, schools and private individuals. There will be an array of physical activities at QCMC from which participants may choose to take part such as biking, running/jogging, walking, aerobics for kids, volleyball, badminton and Tai Chi. In addition, booths will be set up to disseminate information materials  on existing health programs of the DOH. -30- DOH


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