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World Sailing backs IOC campaign to promote better health through sport

by World Sailing 22 Jun 2023 09:06 PDT 23 June 2023
World Sailing backs IOC campaign to promote better health through sport © World Sailing

World Sailing has committed to supporting the International Olympic Committee's Let's Move campaign as part of this year's Olympic Day, taking place on 23 June 2023.

To promote better health through sport, the Olympic Movement will encourage and support people around the world to make time in their daily lives to move in any way, anywhere. The new global initiative is led by Olympians and created in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to promote the health benefits of regular physical activity.

Olympians including Allyson Felix, Pau Gasol, PV Sindhu, Yusra Mardini - to name a few of the athletes involved - have sent a digital invitation?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.

World Sailing President, Quanhai Li, said, "We are proud to support the IOC's Let's Move campaign and the Olympic Movement, as sport helps to promote the benefits of regular physical activity. Sailing is a sport for life and a sport for everybody, regardless of age or ability, whether in competition or for leisure.

"World Sailing has prioritised equity, inclusion and accessibility to make sure more people have access to the sport and we encourage anyone looking to take the first steps towards a more active lifestyle to find out more about how sailing can have a long-term positive impact on physical and mental health.

"Even if you aren't able to get on the water on Olympic Day, please use this opportunity to tell your friends and family about the health benefits of sailing."

Research has found that one in four adults and over 80% 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, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some types of cancers. It also helps to prevent hypertension and reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety. Being active also ensures healthy growth and development in young people and staying healthy in later life.

The calming effect of being on the water, interacting with nature and away from the distractions of modern life has been shown to ease the impact of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety, amongst others. These benefits, alongside the benefits of physical activity in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, help to increase confidence, develop friendships, feel calmer and more relaxed.

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."

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