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How physical activities reduce risk of hypertension, diabetes, others

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Medical experts have identified Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) as the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, stressed on the need for increased physical activities to improve health and wellbeing.

They harped on the need to promote awareness among the populace, citing that the Nigerian children and youth are highly sedentary.They made this known during the 2018 Nigerian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth and unveiling of the ‘Exercise is Medicine’ Initiative, by the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF).

Executive Director NHF, Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, said that the current report card has revealed a wide gap in research, which needs to be filled by researchers and government agencies in respect of comprehensive analysis of physical fitness of school children and youth in Nigeria.He noted that the awareness is low, even among the health professionals, hence the need to scale it up.

Akinroye said the report card is an advocacy, research and policy tool, which can be used to address how important physical activities, is in managing the health conditions of the country.Similarly, the Director General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Babatunde Salako, said there is need to restrategise because in the next 20 years NCDs will take over from infectious diseases.

He harped on the need to fund research to tackle the coming problem. “We need to appreciate the NHF for this report card which can serve as policy document for government,” he said.

Salako said that the issue of exercise is very important because there is no controversy about the efficacy and effectiveness of exercise especially in the control of diabetes, blood sugar and blood pressure to an adjunct to whatever the patient is taking. He said that people who cannot afford treatment could use exercise as an adjunct to control the ailments.

However, NIMR boss blamed physicians who do not prescribe exercise to patients.“A lot of innovations that have discovered by research, but there is a gap between using the innovation discovered by the patients who should benefit for it. There a lot of discoveries but little use of those discoveries we need to look at the reasons,” Salako added.He therefore called for implementation research so as to put these innovations into use.


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Kingsley AkinroyeNHF
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