Fight diseases with regular exercise: Al-Falih
Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih said regular physical exercises will help build a healthy generation and reduce the incidence of diseases in the Kingdom.
He was speaking at a charity race, which was held under the patronage of Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif, at the Alkhobar Corniche during the weekend.
The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Health (MoH) to highlight the importance of physical activities to promote healthy patterns and measures for disease prevention. The theme of the event was: “Citizens’ Health is First”.
The minister urged all residents and citizens to do exercise regularly, at least walking, to fortify themselves against ailments such as diabetes, obesity and heart problems. He pointed out that that it is an expensive program to treat such patients.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally.
Regular moderate intensity physical activity such as walking, cycling or participating in sports has significant benefits for health.
According to MoH General Nutrition Supervisor Mishary Al-Dakheel, rapid social and economic changes, coupled with demographic and epidemic transformations in the Kingdom, have increased health risks.
According to a 2013 report by the MoH, about 25 percent of Saudis are diabetics and the figure may rise because of obesity and lifestyle. The report said diabetes is more prevalent among older people and about 1.2 million Saudi men and one million women are diabetics.