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PARE0016 Annual walking day - move towards a healthier lifestyle
  1. B. Leppik1
  1. 1Estonian Rheumatism Association, Tallinn, Estonia

Abstract

Background Walking Day is an annual event organized by the Estonian Rheumatism Association. It was brought to Estonia by the Finnish Rheumatism Association in 1999. It was one of the first events in Estonia, where Nordic walking was taught and promoted as a healthy way to exercise.

Walking Day promotes Nordic walking to wider audiences and people with diseases, to children, teenagers and families with the purpose to attract them to walking and other simple exercises - using rubber bands and stretching.

Objectives 1)To promote Nordic walking as a simple and accessible way to move in order to prevent diseases and help to cope with chronical diseases. Teach he correct technique for walking to maximise positive results. teach how to walk technically correctly so that benefits from it would be as big as possible.

2)To popularize walking and gain more participants for Walking Days to come. People that walk in fresh air regularly get ill a lot less and have fuller lives even with chronic diseases.

3) To not only involve people with bone and joint disorders but also people from other fields – children and families of all ages. The purpose is to create healthy habits all over the country.

4) To offer other simple possibilities to exercise besides walking – training with rubber bands and competitive games for children.

5) By involving professionals, we offer a chance to participate in different workshops : preventing and dealing with osteoporosis, back pain and health check-ups (blood pressure, pulse, body mass index, blood sugar, cholesterol and others), to raise health awereness and prevent diseases.

6) To raise the authority of Estonian Rheumatism Association as a non-profitable organisation and have bigger role in Estonian society promoting health awereness, cure for bone and joint diseases and social capacity.

Methods The event taught the correct technique of Nordic walking, so that its benefits to the body would be maximal. Informational material was handed out and participants took part in a training led by a Nordic walking specialist.

It was also possible to get health check-ups - measure blood pressure, cholesterol level, body mass index, blood sugar level, obviate traumas and check if there is threat of osteoporosis.

There were also lectures about preventing illnesses and healthy lifestyle in general.

Results The results were pleasing - there were over 800 pariticpants from all around Estonia. Walkind Day taught them the right techniques to walk, raised health awereness and spent a great and active day in fresh air.

We also strengthened relationships between unions from all around the country.

Conclusions Walking Day is a great event of promoting a healthier lifestyle and raising healt awereness.

Acknowledgements We hope it will grow more popular every year and people from around Estonia would come and celebrate health together.

Disclosure of Interest None Declared

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