Healthy RC69

In line with WHO/Europe’s Healthy Meetings initiative, the 69th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe is a conference that follows the healthy and sustainable meeting model.

The RC69 session includes activities that reflect the 4 principles of WHO’s guidelines on healthy and sustainable meetings: healthy food and beverages, opportunities for physical activity, a smoke-free venue and sustainable practices.

About the Healthy Meetings initiative

The Healthy Meetings initiative seeks to:

  • promote awareness and adoption of healthier behaviours, with delegates leading by example
  • encourage similar initiatives among public health officials across the WHO European Region
  • facilitate practices that support the health and well-being of all participants.

At RC69, WHO/Europe:

  • offers healthy food options, including fresh fruit and plenty of water;
  • leads and facilitates opportunities for physical activity, including active breaks during plenary sessions;
  • ensures a tobacco-free venue;
  • promotes sustainability by reducing the use of paper and waste, while encouraging recycling.

Planning healthy and sustainable meetings (2019)

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Move for the 3 Billion campaign

For the first time ever, delegates will have the opportunity to be part of a global health campaign. Move for the 3 Billion is a global campaign that promotes health and physical movement for all, highlighting country action to advance universal health coverage.

Between 2019 and 2023, people all over the world will take 3 billion steps in support of WHO’s goals:

  • a billion more people with universal health coverage
  • a billion more people protected from health emergencies
  • a billion more people achieving better health and well-being.

WHO will lead a series of physical activity events between 2019 and 2023. The upcoming events in September 2019 are:

  • 15 September: Walk the Talk event in Manila, Philippines
  • 15–22 September: Move for the 3 Billion event in Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 22 September 2019: Walk the Talk event in New York City, USA

WHO/Europe is actively contributing to the campaign by encouraging RC69 delegates to be active as part of the Healthy Meetings initiative.

Walk the Talk event in Manila, Philippines

Walk the Talk event, New York City, USA

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Join Move for the 3 Billion at RC69

From Sunday 15 September to Sunday 22 September 2019, take part in the global Move for the 3 Billion campaign in a fun and simple way:

  • Participate in special 5-minute activation sessions to be held in the plenary hall.
  • Remain active using other physical activity opportunities in and around UN City.
  • Record your physical activities, in the number of steps you have walked or run, or in minutes for which you have been physically active otherwise.
  • Submit your steps/minutes through the “Submit steps” link in the RC69 app on a daily basis.
  • At the Healthy Meetings stand, ask for practical tips on remaining active during the session.

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What kind of activities will count

Remember: physical activity does not have to be an intense 2-hour workout. Any physical activity counts: walking or running during your free time; cycling to and from places; taking the stairs instead of the lift; catching up with a friend or colleague over a walk instead of a coffee meeting; going to the gym; or taking an exercise class. These are all activities that add to your physical well-being.

WHO recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, aerobic physical activity per week. This amounts to approximately 30 minutes per day.

Tip: try the 10+10+10 formula: add up every 10 minutes of physical activity to reach the daily minimum goal of 30 minutes.

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How other activities will be counted

Walking and running are great ways to achieve the physical activity goal and can be measured in steps. Other types of workouts – such as cycling, swimming or yoga – can be measured in duration (minutes), which can then be converted to steps. For other physical activities, use the “Other activities” option in the RC69 app; remember to mention the activity and duration in minutes.

Converting minutes into steps

All physical activity minutes will be converted to steps using the conversion rate below.

Aerobics: 209 steps/minute
Badminton: 157 steps/minute
Cycling (moderate): 229 steps/minute
Heavy resistance training: 171 steps/minute
Pilates: 86 steps/minute
Rowing machine: 137 steps/minute
Spinning: 243 steps/minute
Standing at desk: 10 steps/minute
Stationary bike (moderate effort): 100 steps/minute
Swimming (moderate): 237 steps/minute
Yoga: 71 steps/minute

The conversion rate is based on the “Compendium of physical activities” (Ainsworth et al., 2000)

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How to take part in the campaign

All RC69 participants can contribute to the Move for the 3 Billion campaign. You do not need to register, but you are encouraged to submit your steps and/or physical activity minutes through the RC69 app so that these can be counted towards the 3 billion steps goal. There are 3 easy steps to participate:

  1. Count your steps/activity minutes
  2. Submit steps/minutes
  3. Share photos and comments

1.     Count your steps/activity minutes

Use a built-in health app on your smartphone

Recent smartphones have built-in apps that include step counters. If you are not wearing a smart watch or tracker, remember to keep your smartphone with you in order to register your activity duration and steps.

For iOS devices

  • First activate motion tracking in Settings → Privacy → Motion & Fitness.
  • Also turn on the Location Services in the Privacy section.
  • Your built-in Health app should be able to record your steps now.
  • Or, download the Google Fit app for free from the Apple Store and use it to keep track of your steps and activity minutes (called Move Minutes in the app).

For Android devices

  • Download the Google Fit app from the Google Play store for free.
  • Enable the app.
  • The app keeps track of your steps and activity minutes (called Move Minutes in the app).

For smart watches

  • Connect the watch to your health app, and the steps and minutes will automatically be recorded.
  • Refer to the instructions for your smart watch and health app for specific details.

Record steps/minutes offline

  • Use a physical pedometer to track your steps. Collect a free WHO pedometer from the Healthy Meeting stand if you do not have one.
  • You can also keep a pen-and-paper record of your activities.

How to best use a physical pedometer

  • Wear your pedometer every day.
  • Put it on first thing in the morning and leave it on all day.
  • Wear the pedometer either on your waist above your hip or directly above your knee for best accuracy.
  • Make sure it is held securely against your body and that it is upright.
  • Test your pedometer by walking a set amount of steps, and if it is off by more than a few steps, try again in a different secure position.
  • Follow the instructions that came with your pedometer for best results.

2.     Submit steps/minutes

  • Submit your steps/minutes at the end of each day.
  • Click on the “Submit steps” icon in the RC69 app.
  • Enter your steps recorded while walking or running.
  • Enter minutes for cycling, swimming or yoga.
  • For other physical activities, use the “Other activities” option; remember to mention the activity and duration in minutes.
  • Your minutes will be converted into steps using the standard conversion rate.
  • All steps will be automatically added to steps submitted by other participants – all adding up to the 3 billion steps.

3.     Share photos and comments

  • Keeping yourself healthy and active during RC69? Share it with others!
  • Post photos of your activities, healthy foods or sustainable practices in the “Activity feed” of the RC69 app.
  • Use hashtag #HealthyRC69.
  • Also share photos on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #HealthyRC69.

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Physical activity: tips for RC69


  • Reduces risk of hypertension and some forms of cancer substantially
  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes by up to 25%
  • Decreases stress and helps ease symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Helps maintain a healthy body weight
  • Reduces symptoms of stress and anxiety


Every week, engage in at least:

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (e.g. brisk walking or dancing)
  • or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (e.g. running or fast swimming)
  • or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

Tips to remain active during RC69

  • Wear comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely.
  • Choose an active mode of transport, such as walking or biking. Copenhagen is a city with great safe infrastructure for both.
  • Taking the bus or train? Get off 1 or 2 stations earlier and walk or bike the rest of the route.
  • Use the stairs instead of the lift/elevator or escalators.
  • Take active breaks during the day.
  • Stand up during the meeting, when possible.
  • Set a daily or weekly activity goal for yourself, aiming to reach at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • If you need to have a side meeting, consider having it in a standing or moving format: use the standing tables or take a walk with your colleagues around the UN City building. One lap around UN City equals 500 meters.
  • If time is scarce, be active for short periods at a time several times a day. This quickly adds up to the recommended 30 minutes per day.
  • Inform yourself about the activities offered by the Healthy Meetings team.

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Healthy diet: tips for RC69


Unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are leading global risks to health. A healthy diet helps to protect against underweight as well as overweight and obesity, and reduces the risk of developing noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.


WHO recommends the following for a healthy diet:

  • at least 400 g or 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, excluding starchy roots such as potatoes and sweet potatoes;
  • less than 5 g of salt (equivalent to about 1 teaspoon) per day;
  • less than 10% – but ideally less than 5% – of total energy intake (about 50 g) from free sugars;
  • less than 30% of total energy intake from fats.


  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables as the basis of all your meals and snacks.
  • Avoid adding salt to your food.
  • Choose steamed or grilled foods, rather than fried.
  • Prefer whole grains such as oats, wheat and brown rice, rather than refined such as white bread.
  • Remember to include legumes and beans in your diet.
  • Start with a small portion of food and eat slowly.
  • Only eat when you feel hungry.
  • Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water rather than sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages to less than 1 drink per day.
  • Look out for the fresh fruit baskets available all week throughout the day.

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Sustainability: tips for RC69

Working environments can play a large role in supporting sustainable practices, such as through appropriate waste management and use of resources. We as individuals can also contribute to more environment-friendly actions to protect and promote health and well-being.


  • Choose more sustainable modes of transport, such as walking, biking or taking the train.
  • Print less: take advantage of technology to reduce your use of paper. You can find all the information about the meeting in the RC69 app and website.
  • Avoid wasting food: take only as much as you will eat.
  • Reuse the same cup or glass during the day.
  • Avoid using disposable utensils.
  • Consider using a reusable water bottle to help you stay hydrated throughout the day. If you do not have one, pass by the UN City shop, where you can find sustainable WHO/Europe water bottles.
  • Turn off any electronic equipment when not in use.

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