Employees in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain who wore walking trackers for six months to promote physical exercise in the UAE were rewarded for their efforts.
Thousands of people joined the ICLDC Walking Challenge, which was launched by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) to foster behavioural change amongst the Emirates’ citizens and residents alike.
“Walking is an excellent form of gentle, low-impact exercise – and taking a few thousand steps daily really does make a difference,” said Dr. Farhana bin Lootah, Internal Medicine Consultant at ICLDC.
“With the mild winter weather finally here, now is the perfect time to park the car in the driveway and commit to travelling farther by foot.”
Participants aimed to take at least 10,000 steps per day during the campaign. Those who hit the highest numbers were recognised at a ceremony held at Yas Marina Circuit as part of WALK 2018, the 12th incarnation of ICLDC’s flagship health event initiative.
The WALK saw thousands of people take a 5km stroll in the circuit in celebration of gentle exercise. Open to people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of fitness, it featured free sessions offering opportunities to try a host of fun activities, from Zumba to bubble football and Gladiator-style games.
Physical inactivity has been identified by the World Health Organization as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. As stated in its influential report Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, regular exercise reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, diabetes, hypertension, colon cancer, breast cancer and depression. It is also fundamental to energy balance and, therefore, weight control.
The ICLDC Walking Challenge is held under the continued patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF), the "Mother of the UAE”, and is supported by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Sports Council. Forming part of the ICLDC’s acclaimed public health awareness campaign, Diabetes. Knowledge. Action., it was organised in collaboration with fellow members of Mubadala’s network of healthcare providers, including Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Healthpoint.
The winners of Walking Challenge 2018 were as follows:
Most Inspirational Walker: Bassel Abu Taleb, Emirates Red Crescent with a total number of steps of 1,896,974
Record Walker – Female: Dr. Lamees Abu Hlaiqa, Department of Health with a total number of steps of 1,602,000
Record Walker – Male: Sayed Mohammed Hamza, Etisalat with a total number of steps of 2,520,459
October Corporate winner: Department of Health, with a total number of steps of 50,799,617
1st Place: Bhupesh Kohli, Etisalat with a total number of steps of 9,116,840
2nd Place: Roderick Camba, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre with a total number of steps of 8,273,088
3rd Place: Saif Al Essa, Drivers and Vehicles Licencing Department Al Ain with a total number of steps of 5,802,423
Corporate Champion – Abu Dhabi
1st Place: Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi – with a total number of steps of 139,877,415
2nd Place: Etisalat – with a total number of steps of 130,020,866
3rd Place: Department of Health – with a total number of steps of 89,399,949
4th Place: Abu Dhabi Police Department – with a total number of steps of 82,529,640
5th Place: Daman – with a total number of steps of 55,735,765
Corporate Champion – Al Ain
1st Place: UAE University – with a total number of steps of 65,841,985
2nd Place: Strata – with a total number of steps of 58,906,554
3rd Place: Imperial College London Diabetes Centre – with a total number of steps of 55,265,078
4th Place: Al Ain Distribution Company – with a total number of steps of 43,911,270
5th Place: Drivers and Vehicles Licencing Department Al Ain – with a total number of steps of 38,108,940