Members of Parliament have passed a resolution for government to encourage physical fitness and ensure Saturday is dedicated for the exercise.
Parliament football team captain, Denis Hamson Obua of Ajuri county and Kasmbya county’s Gaffa Mbwatekamwa on Thursday moved a motion which was unanimously supported and adopted by the House.
Obua, who is also the former Chairman Uganda Cranes Steering Committee on African Cup of Nations qualifications, told ChimpReports on Monday why they came up with the idea and the need to devote one hour every Saturday for physical exercise.
“Physical activity has become a critical matter to mitigate a number of health risks,” said Obua.
According to the legislator, Ugandans just like other people across the world, are exposed to different pollutants in food, transport and others and it is important to at least engage in weekly physical exercise.
“The food we eat, the vehicles we drive and many others are all good but have on the other side exposed us to some diseases. For the sake of our general health, let Ugandans start doing a one-hour physical exercise every Saturday,” noted Obua.
In June last year, President Yoweri Museveni joined the Ministry of Health in launching the National Day of Physical Activity as part of a campaign to raise awareness on the growing burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Uganda.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), NCDs, also known as chronic diseases or lifestyle diseases, result from a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioral factors. Examples of NCDs include; Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension.
Results from the Uganda NCD risk factor survey (2014) showed that Ugandans are becoming increasingly physically inactive. High physical inactivity was noted especially among the urban population where 8% of adults were considered physically inactive compared to 3.5% among the rural population. People in villages engage in more ‘calorie-burning’ activities such as farming and gardening which counts as physical activity compared to urban dwellers.
The survey further indicated that adults aged between 50-69 years are more physically inactive (7.8%) compared to the younger age groups of 18-29 years (4.1%) and 30-49 years (3.2%). Females are also less active as compared to their male counterparts (women 4.9%, men 3.7%).