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Ministry Of Health Invites High Schools, Colleges, Universities, Government Ministries, Business Entities, And Civil Society Organizations To Participate In The National Sneaker Day

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In the fight to reduce the growing trends in Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the
CARICOM Heads’ Summit on Chronic Diseases established Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) in
2007. Caribbean Wellness Day is an annual event which provides opportunities to increase
awareness of the NCD burden in the Caribbean; promote multi-country, multi-sectoral activities
in support of wellness; and showcase national and community level activities to promote healthy
living while encouraging residents to develop good health practices.
This year, CWD was held on September 9th and is followed by seven (7) days of activities aptly
entitled Caribbean Wellness Week. Our focus in 2017 is on youth aged 15-29 with the theme
“Securing a Future Generation through Healthy Eating and Not Smoking.” In light of this,
Friday 15th September has been designated as National Sneaker Day to promote healthy
living through increased physical activity. On this day, nationals and residents island-wide are
encouraged to wear sneakers with their usual corporate/work attire. The aim of this activity is to
encourage persons to incorporate more physical activity into their day.
The Ministry of Health wishes to stress the point that insufficient physical activity is one of the
leading risk factors for NCDs within The Federation. Regular physical activity of moderate
intensity – such as walking, cycling, or doing sports – has significant benefits for health. To
achieve these benefits persons should engage in physical activity up to 2 ½ – 5 hours a week or
45 minutes per day for 3 – 5 days per week. People can easily achieve the recommended activity
levels by becoming more active throughout the day. Physical activity however, should not be
confused with “exercise” which is planned, structured, and repetitive and aims to improve and
maintain physical fitness.
The Ministry of Health would like to invite all High Schools, Colleges, Universities,
Government Ministries, Business Entities, and Civil Society Organizations to participate in
the National Sneaker Day event to ensure its success. Participants are encouraged to take
selfies and post on various social media platforms with the hashtag #SKBsneakerday2017.
The Ministry of Health, through this event, is seeking to provide an opportunity to increase
awareness of the impact that NCDs have on our Nation’s social and economic infrastructure –
such as the high cost of health care, medication, disability, absenteeism from work, and reduced
national productivity. The Ministry also wants to help our people – in particular, our youth – to
become more aware of the importance of overall health and wellbeing; and to showcase national
and community level activities that promote healthy living and encourage residents to develop
good health practices.
September 14, 2017
Office of NCD Programme Coordinator

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