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IOC and WHO launch Let’s Move campaign on Olympic Day to inspire and enable the world to move for better health

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–Allyson Felix, Pau Gasol, PV Sindhu and Yusra Mardini amongst Olympians inviting people to join the movement starting 23 June.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has today announced a new global initiative to inspire and enable the world to move more every day. Led by Olympians and created in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), Let’s Move will begin on Olympic Day, 23 June, with an invitation to make time every day for movement for better health.

The world is moving faster than ever, but people are moving less. Research has found that one in four adults and over 80 per cent of young people do not meet the recommended minimum activity levels needed for optimum health (WHO, 2022). Not having enough time in the day is one of the most common reasons given for not being able to reach this goal. At the same time, starting with just 30 minutes of movement a day has significant health benefits for hearts, bodies and minds.

Regular physical activity can help prevent or manage certain diseases, like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancers. It also helps to prevent hypertension, and it reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. Being active also ensures healthy growth and development in young people and staying healthy in later life.

On 23 June, the Olympic Movement will encourage and support people around the world to make this time in their daily lives to move in any way, anywhere. This includes a digital invitation from Olympians Allyson Felix, Pau Gasol, PV Sindhu, Yusra Mardini– to name a few of the athletes involved – to schedule 30 minutes to move this day with them and to join the Let’s Move Olympic Day digital workout from anywhere in the world, with the ambition of turning this into a daily habit.

IOC President Thomas Bach said, “On Olympic Day, we celebrate the Olympic Movement’s mission to make the world a better place through sport. When we do sport, it keeps our mind and body strong and healthy. When we do sport, it inspires us to always give it our best and it makes us dream, it spreads joy and it brings us together. This year, together with the WHO, we are highlighting the positive impacts sport has on both physical and mental health. We want to inspire the world to move more every day. Sport and physical activity are the low-cost, high-impact tool for healthy bodies and healthy minds and resilient communities.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said, “The Olympic Movement has a unique ability to harness the power of increased physical activity through sport for improving public health. Olympians are more than athletes: they are role models for people to enjoy sport and the benefits of physical activity. The Let’s Move initiative, supported by the WHO, combines the power of the Olympics and WHO’s advice on physical activity to help inspire and motivate people to move more for better health.”

Past and future Olympic hosts will also take part in the initiative by encouraging people to exercise in their local communities. Paris 2024 (along with the French Ministry of National Education and Youth and the Ministry of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games) has already introduced 30 minutes of physical activity as part of the school curriculum over the past 12 months, in recognition of the multitude of mental and physical health benefits of daily exercise.

Over 131 mass participation events and digital activations will take place in all corners of the world, being organised by the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and the wider Olympic Movement, providing an opportunity for everyone to move together on Olympic Day.

Australia: Running a host of “Have a Go” activities in line with Let’s Move, featuring Olympic sports and hosted by Olympians, and looking ahead to Brisbane 2032, 23 -24 June
Barbados: Olympic Day Run, the “GLOW 2K” beginning late in the evening where runners will wear glow-in-the-dark wrist bands, 23 June
Cabo Verde: mega Let’s Move Fitness Class, at the Kebra Kanela Square, 23 June
Croatia: Olympic Day Run in Zagreb, 17 June
Guinea Bissau: Olympic Day Run, starting in the city of Mansoa, where the OlympAfrica Centre is located, 23 June
Italy: Online workouts with Olympians and elite athletes, 1 – 25 June
Mongolia: Olympic Day event in the National Park of Ulaanbaatar, 23 June
Norway: Olympic Day run for children in the main street of Lillehammer, 24 June
People’s Republic of China: Olympic Day will be celebrated in over 10 cities and linked to an online challenge including five events to get active, 1 – 23 June
Samsung Health Olympic Day Step Challenge: Reach 100,000 steps together on the Samsung Health app, 10 – 23 June
Thailand and Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Celebrating together on the second Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge (Mukdahan-Savannakhet), 24 June
Worldwide: A host of city landmarks will light up to inspire the world to move, including in Barcelona, Beijing, Mexico City and Tokyo, 23 June

* The Let’s Move initiative shines a light on the benefits of moving more and contributes to IOC’s Olympism365 strategy, where one of the key aims is to increase access to sports opportunities, and bring the health and societal benefits of physical activity to communities in all corners of the globe.

* Let’s Move encourages everyone to share how they are getting active on Olympic Day on social media using #LetsMove #OlympicDay and tagging @Olympics, and to therefore become a source of inspiration for others.

* Let’s Move on Olympic Day is the first event in a series of initiatives from the IOC with the ambition of supporting and inspiring the world to move. It will directly contribute to the Olympism365 priority area of “Sport, Health and Active Communities”, which is focused on ensuring that more people, from more diverse backgrounds, can enjoy the mental and physical benefits of participating in sport and physical activity.

* Join the movement on Olympics.com and @Olympics.

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About the author

Joseph Chukwuma Oputa

Joseph Chukwuma Oputa is the Managing Editor of Maslow Businessnews and Physicians News publications published by Maslow Business News Publications, Lagos, Nigeria.

Joseph Oputa is a proud Alumnus of the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.

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