JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister Ferguson stated that “it is important for us all to incorporate physical activity in our daily routine.”
  • The Minister advises that “at least 30 minutes a day, five days for the week will be beneficial to our health.”
  • Dr. Ferguson cited the Jamaica Healthy Lifestyle Survey 2011, which indicates that almost twice as many persons reported being inactive in 2008 compared to 2000.

Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is cautioning Jamaicans not to allow the comfort and convenience of modern technology, to prevent them from doing physical activity.

In his message for ‘World Move for Health Day’, being celebrated on May 10, the Minister stated that “it is important for us all to incorporate physical activity in our daily routine.”

The Minister advises that “at least 30 minutes a day, five days for the week will be beneficial to our health.”

Dr. Ferguson cited the Jamaica Healthy Lifestyle Survey 2011, which indicates that almost twice as many persons reported being inactive in 2008 compared to 2000.

He noted too that the prevalence of obesity in children below five years old had risen from 6 percent to 14 percent during the period 2001–2010, while the figure was much higher for boys 11–13 years old, at 27 percent. For girls 11-13 years, the prevalence was 33 percent.

The Minister commended individuals who have taken their health seriously and have found creative ways to engage in regular physical activity; as well as those organizations that have had physical initiatives as part of their workplace wellness programmes.

He also pledged the Ministry’s commitment to “develop an action plan that will create a more supportive environment for doing physical activity and engage wider participation of the Jamaican population.”

This, he said, would be done through cooperation with other ministries, faith based organisations, educational institutions, private sector, civil society and other groups.

Dr. Ferguson informed that the Ministry of Health’s goal is to increase participation in physical activity by at least five percent over the next five years.

Research has shown that regular physical activity improves health by reducing the risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure; cancers of the colon and breast; as well as help to maintain healthy weight, bones, muscles and joint and reduces blood pressure.

World Move for Health Day is being celebrated with a Grand Move Fest at the Mandeville Primary and Junior High School in Manchester.

World Move for Health Day has been celebrated every year since 2002, when the World Health Organisation took the decision to provide a focal point to generate public awareness of the benefits of physical activity in the prevention of chronic diseases throughout the world.