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Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi is encouraging residents to collectively walk one billion steps by October 26, with an opportunity to win flight tickets from Etihad Airways.

The interactive challenge has been launched by the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Department of Community Development, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, fitness app STEPPI. The challenge concludes at the end of the 9th International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress, which will be held in Abu Dhabi.

Aligned with ISPAH’s theme of ‘making every move count, the One Billion Steps Challenge will run from 23 September till 26 October, and bring together thousands of people across the wider local communities to help achieve the target, thus encouraging people to be more active. Users who participate will be in with a chance of winning flight tickets to any destination in Europe or Asia with Etihad Airways by entering a draw.

Who can participate

As well as UAE residents and citizens, it will also aim to attract the participation of more than 1,000 visitors from around the world, who will attend the 9th edition of the Congress. The ISPAH Congress will run between October 23 and 26 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

The challenge is part of ADPHC’s ongoing efforts to promote physical activity, and is in keeping with the Abu Dhabi Government’s drive to foster a healthier lifestyle.

People can download the free STEPPI app and track their progress, and a dedicated website with a live counter will display the accumulated steps taken. It will also include recommendations on different activities individuals can do to take as many steps as possible, and there will be an opportunity to win flight tickets with Etihad Airways.

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Healthy society

Matar Al Nuaimi

Matar Al Nuaimi, Director General at the ADPHC, said: “The One Billion Steps Challenge is the latest initiative by ADPHC, and one that reflects our vision towards a healthy and safe society for all. As Abu Dhabi prepares to host the ISPAH Congress in October, this is an opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to not only step up and get involved and take as many steps as possible through frequent exercise but also showcase to the world how active our communities are across the nation.

"Whether it’s walking or running, every step will make a huge difference and requires a collective effort from individuals and organisations in the UAE, as well as hundreds of delegates and experts that will be attending the Congress to achieve our ambitious target of one billion steps. Physical activity is crucial to our health and well-being and the One Billion Steps Challenge has been carefully planned to ensure that it’s friendly and enjoyable with interactive features to check your progress,” said Matar Al Nuaimi, director general at the ADPHC.

Physical activity

Prof. Jasper Schipperijn, ISPAH president, said: “We are delighted with the extensive support for the 9th ISPAH Congress from our host, the ADPHC. ADPHC’s One Billion Steps Challenge aligns with ISPAH’s vision of a healthy active world where the opportunities for physical activity and active living are available to all. This is a very exciting initiative and involves all of the community in the lead up to this important congress and raises awareness of the importance of physical activity among the community. I highly recommend everyone to take part in this challenge and I am sure it will be a huge success."

ISPAH Congress

The ISPAH Congress is the largest physical activity and health congress in the world and widely recognised as the leading global society of researchers, experts and practitioners focused on promoting physical activity across the life course. With a shared vision of promoting an active, healthy society with opportunities for physical activity and an active life for all, the 9th edition of the ISPAH Congress will bring together academics, practitioners, thought leaders and policy makers to discuss collaborative ways to promote the adoption of physical activity.