Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Public Health
Release Date:
Thursday, 31 March 2016 - 4:30pm

Registration for the new fitness challenge promoting physical activity and improving eating habits has been extended to April 15.

The challenge is tailored for both group and individual walkers. Ten member groups will walk around the world for an estimated 24 million steps and individuals will take a Volcanic Relief Mission to Montserrat for a total of 2.6 million steps during the course of the one year challenge.

Coordinator for Health Promotions Services and National Focal Point for NCDs, Ms. Ivy George said that the purpose of this challenge is to encourage sustainable change. She said at the core of this programme is proper eating, increased water consumption and increased physical activity.

Ms. George added that there are many benefits that can be derived for persons who participate in this programme.

She said, “Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.  It helps with controlling your weight, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.  Physical activity also strengthens muscles and bones, improves your mental health and mood, improves your ability to do daily activities, and increases your chances of living longer. The challenge is fun and will prove to be extremely beneficial to all who accept it.”

The fitness challenge is a part of the Virgin Islands run/walk programme which seeks to increase physical activity in adults between the ages of 25 to 64 through widespread participant walking, to improve health and wellness and reduce residents vulnerability to non-communicable diseases.

The programme is one of many initiatives undertaken through the Health and Wellness and Non-communicable Diseases Prevention Programme.  It is a collaborative effort between the Ministry Health and Social Development and the BVI Olympic Committee.

Interested persons can contact Ms. Sophia Brewley-Massiah at 468-4595 or via email at sbrewley-massiah@gov to register for the programme.  There is a registration fee of $30 which covers the cost of a 64 oz. thermos water bottle, a portion control plate and reflective gears for walking safely at night.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development has implemented a 10-year strategy to improve the health and well-being of the population and reduce the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The strategy prioritises prevention by integrating policies and action across multiple settings where people live, play and work to improve health and save lives.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286