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MEC takes part in health walk

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The risk of cardiovascular disease increased by up to 1.5 times for those who did not engage in physical activity.

ACTIVE: As part of the global Move for Health initiative to encourage a healthy lifestyle in society, the Northern Cape MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong (in blue), led a 5km health walk in Kimberley under the theme, I choose to be active. Picture: Supplied

THE NORTHERN Cape MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong, took part in a five kilometre health walk yesterday as part of World Move for Health Day – a global challenge to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Makatong said that the use of cellphones was contributing to a lack of physical activity, which in turn was contributing to chronic diseases including high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and premature death.

“According to the South African Medical Research Council; cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the Northern Cape, with 24 percent, and respiratory disease contributes towards seven percent of deaths.

“Considerable gender differences are observed with females experiencing eight percent and four percent more cardiovascular diseases respectively than males and six percent more intentional injuries than females.”

Makatong added that the risk of cardiovascular disease increased by up to 1.5 times for those who did not engage in physical activity.

“The World Health Organisation lists physical inactivity among the risks contributing to global chronic disease morbidity and mortality. Overall, chronic diseases now account for 60 percent of premature deaths annually, whilst physical inactivity caused 1.9 million deaths and 1.8 million disability adjusted life year losses annually, and about 15 to 20 percent of cases of ischaemic heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.”

Makatong encouraged community members to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day by for example brisk walking, dancing, aerobics, housework, gardening, washing your car, or climbing stairs.

Makatong stated that physical activity, following a healthy diet and staying tobacco free were highly effective in preventing disease and improving health.

She added that the department would host various activities throughout the Province to promote healthy living.

– Sandi Kwon Hoo