The National Fitness Day, a day set aside by government for everyone to engage in physical activities to promote good health, has been launched in Accra on Friday.
Set to begin on September 10 and the second Saturday of every month, the national fitness day would be observed across national, regional and district levels.
Launching the event, the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif said the initiative was in response to a call from the Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, for a day to be set aside every month for Ghanaians to exercise and stay healthy.
He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported that over 60 per cent of the global population has failed to engage in appropriate physical activities that would promote good health.
The inactivity among the population, he said, had contributed to many sicknesses and affected production.
“There is the need for individual change and Ghanaians must also begin to exercise and prevent sicknesses and its associated medical bills,” he stated.
Mr Ussif noted that the country as a whole stood to gain a lot with the national fitness day which would not only promote good health but community relations, mental health as well as sports in general.
“This concept is very common in the USA and UK and we would replicate same in Ghana and urge all to participate and stay healthy,” he stressed.
“A healthy national is a happy and productive nation and everyone within the corporate and civil organisations must partner government to make the event a successful one,” he added.
He said the Vice President was a huge Ambassador of the event and urged Ghanaians to also become ambassadors of good health within their homes and communities.
The Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA) Prof Peter Twumasi, pledged the outfit’s support to the initiative which he added would help promote sports in the country.
“This is one of the important activities to improve upon our sports and also get all Ghanaians on board to be healthy and stay away from the hospital,” he stated.
He added that Ghanaians must take the initiative seriously to realise the benefits of sports.
A representative from the Ministry of Education, Madam Shea Naa Boamah, said national fitness was something many desired and the initiative would help a lot of people to get along.
“Sports would help you to build unity and team spirit among Ghanaians and give the current generation a platform to build friendships within the virtual world of communication,” she stated.
A demonstration from the National Fitness Instructors was also held to encourage the public to engage in aerobics and other forms of physical activities.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE