Healthy RC68

About Healthy RC68

Over the past few years, the annual sessions of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe have become increasingly paper-free: WHO/Europe has been extensively using emails, the website, the app and social media to communicate with delegates and other stakeholders.

This year WHO/Europe has launched a Healthy RC68 initiative to make the session the model of a healthy and sustainable meeting. The initiative is based on the guidelines recently published by WHO/Europe on planning healthy and sustainable meetings.

The aims of the Healthy RC68 initiative are to:

  • promote awareness of and engagement with the benefits of healthier behaviours, where delegates and the countries or organizations they represent can lead by example;
  • make the Regional Committee a model for healthy and sustainable meetings;
  • encourage similar initiatives and healthy and environment-friendly behaviours among public health leaders and national governments across the Region.

WHO/Europe is making RC68 a healthy and sustainable meeting by:

  • providing healthy snacks and meals
  • providing fruit baskets and drinking water
  • providing physical activity opportunities
  • making it tobacco-free
  • reducing use of paper
  • reducing and recycling waste.

Special 5-minute activation sessions will be held once a day in the plenary hall for all participants. Delegates will receive practical information at a Healthy RC68 stand on how to stay active and healthy during a meeting such as the Regional Committee session, and how to plan for healthy meetings.

Planning healthy and sustainable meetings (2018)

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About the RC Steps Challenge

The RC Steps Challenge is a fun and easy way to promote the health and well-being of all participants and make the RC68 session a healthier meeting.

The challenge runs from Sunday, 16 September to Thursday, 20 September 2018. During this period, participants will record the number of steps they have walked. They can submit their steps through the RC68 app on a daily basis until the end of lunch time on Thursday.


Prizes will be awarded to the top 5 participants with the highest number of steps. The winners will be announced via the app on Thursday afternoon. Winners can collect their prizes from the Healthy RC68 stand.

Remember: physical activity does not have to be an intense 2-hour workout. Any physical activity has health benefits, whether it is during your free time, as transportation to get to and from places, or as part of your work. WHO recommends 150 minutes every week of moderate-intensity, aerobic physical activity for all adults. Walking is a great way to achieve this goal.

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How to participate in the RC Steps Challenge

All RC68 participants are welcome to join the RC Steps Challenge.

How to count steps

Use a built-in pedometer on your smartphone: some recent smartphones have a built-in pedometer that you might want to use instead of downloading a separate app.

  • For iOS devices
    You will first need to activate motion tracking. The setting is usually in Settings-->Privacy-->Motion & Fitness. You should also turn on the Location Services in the Privacy section. After you have done so, your built-in Health App should be able to record your steps.
  • For Android devices
    The best option is to enable the Google Fit app – if you do not have the app, you can download it for free in the Play Store.

Use a physical pedometer: you can collect a WHO pedometer from the Healthy RC68 stand and use it to record your steps.

How can you best use a physical pedometer?

Get into the habit of wearing your pedometer every day –put it on first thing in the morning and leave it on all day. For the best accuracy it is recommended to wear the pedometer either on your waist above your hip or directly above your knee. Make sure that it is held securely against your body and that it is upright – if the pedometer is angled the results may not be accurate. 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. Be sure to read the instructions with your pedometer for further information.

How to submit steps

Upload your steps: at the end of each day, click on “Submit your steps” in the RC68 app to upload your daily steps.

Click on “Top 10 walkers” to see the 10 participants who have walked the highest number of steps on a daily basis.

How to share photos and comments

Share with other participants how you are keeping yourself active and healthy. Share photos of your physical activities like walks you are taking with other participants in the “Activity Feed” section of the app, using the hashtag #HealthyRC68. You can also share photos or your thoughts about remaining active and healthy during RC68 on Twitter and Instagram with the same hashtag.

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Stay active and healthy: tips for RC68

Physical activity

  • Choose an active transport: walk or bike (where possible)
  • 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
  • Use the gym in your hotel
  • 10+10+10: add up every 10 minutes of physical activity to reach the daily minimum goal of 30 minutes
  • Join the activation session in the Plenary

Healthy diet

  • Choose fresh fruits and raw vegetables for snacks
  • Take advantage of fruit baskets at RC68
  • Remember your 5-a-day fruits and vegetables
  • Include vegetables in your meal
  • Drink water rather than sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Fruits and vegetables not only give you energy and essential nutrients, they also reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases

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Physical activity: benefits and recommendations

Benefits of physical activity

  • 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

Physical activity recommendations

For adults aged 18–64 years, minimum per week:

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as walking, biking or swimming)
  • OR 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
  • OR an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity
  • Aerobic activity in bouts of at least 10 minutes
  • Muscle-strengthening activities involving major muscle groups 2 or more times per week

For adults aged 65+ years, minimum per week:

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as walking, biking, swimming)
  • OR 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
  • OR an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity
  • Activities to enhance balance and prevent falls 3 times per week
  • Muscle-strengthening activities 2 times per week

For children aged 5–17 years, minimum per day:

  • 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity activity
  • Most of the activities should be aerobic (such as walking, running, biking or swimming)
  • Vigorous-intensity activities, including those that strengthen muscle and bone at least 3 times per week

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