Walking day celebrated throughout Turkey
On 3 October 2012, 81 provinces throughout Turkey arranged events to promote physical activity. In addition, escalators in shopping centres were turned off at lunchtime to encourage people to take the stairs.
Opening an obesity-prevention campaign at Altinpark in Ankara, Professor Recep Akdağ, Minister of Health of Turkey, invited the thousands of people attending to take a walk as a first step to changing their lifestyles and behaviour. Mr Melih Gökçek, Mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, and Dr Maria Cristina Profili, WHO Representative in Turkey, also took part in the event, at which 30 000 pedometers were distributed.
Recent surveys of nutrition and health and of chronic-disease risk factors, conducted by the Ministry of Health, showed that 72% of the people in Turkey do not take physical exercise, and that 87% of women and 77% of men are not physically active enough, respectively.