Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is notifying the public that the Fitness Movement Challenge originally set to begin on February 16 has been extended to March 16 to facilitate registration.
The new deadline for registration is March 10 and the challenge will now run from March 16 to June 5.
Programme Coordinator, Mr. Jason Rubaine said that he has been receiving positive feedback and many individuals have been signing up to take part in the 10,000 step challenge. He said the ministry extended registration as more time was needed to facilitate group participation.
“Right now, we have a total of 4 groups registered and recently the Ministry of Education and Culture registered a group,” Mr. Rubaine said, adding, “We have also been in contact with Road Town Wholesale who is working to mobilize their staff to join the movement.”
Mr. Rubaine appealed for maximum participation in the programme as chronic diseases continue to be a problem for individuals and the society on a whole. “With this VI run/walk programme, we seek to inspire persons within the Territory to increase physical activity in an effort to reduce their vulnerability to non-communicable diseases like heart diseases, diabetes and some cancers,” Mr. Rubaine said.
The Programme Coordinator also urged businesses, community groups, Government and churches to form groups and join the movement. He said families are encouraged to rally the troops and join the movement and communities are asked to unite in solidarity and be each other’s keeper as we forge towards becoming a healthier Virgin Islands through the movement.
A group could have a minimum of five persons with a designated leader and must be committed to walking a minimum of three days per week for 60 minutes or more, or walk five days per week for a minimum of 30 minutes or more.
Groups participating in the run/walk programme will be encouraged to keep a log with information including group members, distance walked and duration. This information will help the Ministry capture vital information as they seek to increase the number of persons between the age of 25 and 64 conducting physical activity.
The 10,000 step programme is also available to persons who do not wish to walk in a group. The 10,000 steps per day programme aims to increase the day to day physical activity level for adults by encouraging the accumulation of physical activity as part of everyday living.
The VI run/walk programme is a collaborative effort between the Ministry Health and Social Development, the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports and the BVI Olympic Committee.
The Ministry has also implemented a 10-year strategy to improve the health and well-being of the population and reduce the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases.