Victoria University (VU) Kampala heeded to call by President Yoweri Museveni and Ministry of Health to join the fight against non-communicable diseases during the inaugural National Day of Physical Activity in Kampala.
Hundreds of Ugandans flocked Kololo Independence Grounds the venu to stretch, dance, exercise, jog, play games such as football, netball, basketball and other activities in a bid to to raise awareness on the growing burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Uganda.
On their part, Victoria University engaged with the public on the issue of healthy nutrition and offered free BMI and blood pressure testing. “Victoria University was delighted to participate in the National Day of Physical Activity as part of the President of Uganda's endeavors to reduce the effects of non-communicable diseases in Uganda.” the university said.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), NCDs, also known as chronic diseases or lifestyle diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioral factors. Examples of NCDs include; Cancer, Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension.
While launching the National Day of Physical Activity, the President of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni noted that as Uganda benefited from development, Ugandans started suffering from lifestyle diseases. “One simply has to change lifestyles, exercise and eat well. The increase in cases of cancer, diabetes, heart diseases especially in urban areas is because people eat too much and do not exercise” he said.
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 i.e. 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%).
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