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Sunday July 19, 2009

10,000 steps a day campaign to improve your health

10, 000 steps to stay active

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians have been asked to walk 10,000 steps a day as part of their healthy lifestyle regime.

Health Minister Seri Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said the 10,000-steps-a-day campaign was intended to push the people to improve their health by walking more and reducing their intake of unhealthy food.

He said many Malaysians had developed unhealthy lifestyle practices as a result of rapid development and economic progress.

These practices had led to an increase in non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity, he added.

Leg-up on health: Liow (seated, second from left) watching a pilates demonstration during the opening of the TSM Wellness pilates and yoga lifestyle club in Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur, Saturday.

Liow said his ministry had introduced a system whereby the people could determine whether they practised an active or sedentary lifestyle.

“If you walk less than 5,000 steps per day, then you are considered to have a sedentary lifestyle. If you walk 7,500 to 10,000 steps you are considered somewhat active.

“You are physically active when you walk more than 10,000 steps daily, which is equivalent to six to seven kilometres of walking per day, and you burn up to 400 calories from your body.

“If you work on the 12th floor in your workplace, then you should stop the lift at the ninth floor and walk up. It’s even better if you walk all the way up,” he told reporters after opening the TSM Wellness Sdn Bhd Energy pilates and yoga lifestyle club here yesterday.

Liow said the 10,000-steps-per-day campaign was the third phase of the ministry’s healthy lifestyle campaign.

The first and second phases were introduced from 1992 onwards to encourage people to have a balanced diet and to stop smoking and drinking alcohol.

Liow said the ministry was working to encourage restaurants and cafeterias to introduce healthy food and have the menu display the amount of calories contained in their dishes.

He also said the ministry was battling to contain the influenza A (H1N1) infection to prevent it from spreading.

The ministry, Liow said, was concentrating on the treatment of H1N1 patients and to date, one of 848 patients had been warded in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said 726 or 86% of the 848 patients had recovered while 116 (13%) were give outpatient treatment. Only six persons or 1% are hospitalised.

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