Health officials call  for city exercise areas
April 16, 2010
Health officials call for city exercise areas

Ministry of Health officials are hoping that open spaces will be made available for health and fitness exercises somewhere in capital city Kingstown.{{more}}

This following what was considered the successful recognition of World Health Day here last week Wednesday.

The South River Road/ Heritage Square area was transformed into an open-air gym and wellness centre, where members of the public were able to participate in a number of physical activities and undergo health checks throughout the day.

Held under the theme “Urban Spaces for Health”, Wednesday’s event saw groups and institutions, including the Biabou Senior Fitness Group, the Sports Department, School of Nursing, police recruits and the Grammar School Young Leaders, among others, undergoing aerobics sessions, and engaging in games and exercises.

Participants were also involved in height and weight tests, along with blood pressure and blood sugar testing, which were free of charge.

Chief Health Educator Patsy Wyllie said that the feedback from members of the public as well as stakeholders will determine if open-air events of that nature will be sustained.

Acknowledging that there is little space in the city, Wyllie is of the hope that at specific times, areas will be designated for possibly weekly, bi-weekly or monthly activities of that nature.

She is also hoping that more groups like the Biabou organization will be established in the urban and rural districts.

Wyllie highlighted that activities such as this can aid in the fight against chronic non communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, which by all indications are the biggest killers of people in the Caribbean.

Health officials noted that at Wednesday’s exercise, the public was highly involved. This was one of the objectives.

Along with the Sports Department, the Ministry of Health holds weekly exercise routines on Mondays at the top floor of the Kingstown vegetable market, as well as monthly walks.

The Biabou senior group also holds weekly sessions at the Biabou Learning Resource Centre or the Biabou hard court.

Wednesday’s event was declared open by Minister of Health Douglas Slater, who stressed the importance of exercise. (JJ)