The Ministry of Health is set to mark the second National Day of Physical Activity (NDPA) which is part of government’s efforts to prevent and control non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among Ugandans.
NDPA was launched last year and it is anticipated to be celebrated in all the following years. This year’s celebrations will be held on July 14, at Kololo Independence Grounds under the theme: ‘My health, my responsibility.’
Speaking in Kampala, the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, said the day is aimed at informing the population about the importance of physical activity, its relevance in prevention Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and premature mortality from lifestyle diseases.
“The prevalence of NCDs is anticipated to increase if individuals do NOT change to an active lifestyle. Despite global commitments by all World health organisation (WHO) member states to reduce physical inactivity by 10 per cent by 2025.” She said
Physical inactivity is reported as the fourth leading risk factor for death globally; causing 6 per cent of deaths worldwide. It is estimated that one in every four adults globally is not physically active enough.
WHO recommends 250 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week or 30 minutes of moderate activity daily among adults? Children and adolescents require a minimum of one hour per day of physical exercises.
The recommended time can be met through work, travel or leisure related physical activities. It is important that individuals engage in physical activity that they enjoy for example dancing, jogging, gardening, cycling, and sports such as football, netball, athletics, and baseball.
Results from Uganda NCD survey of 2914 indicates that Ugandans are becoming physically inactive. High physical inactivity was note in urban areas where eight percent adults were considered inactive considered to 3.5 per cent among rural population.
As Uganda commemorates the second National Physical Activity day, she reminded the population about the importance of physical activity and urging Ugandans to adopt healthier life style and consuming diet foods.
She said her ministry is developing the National Physical Activity guidelines and supporting the promotion of physical education in schools as part of the efforts to increase physical activity among the population.