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Unprecented Success For #Walk2014 As Abu Dhabi Takes A Combined 150 Million Steps In Support Of Diabetes

07 Nov 2014
Abu Dhabi

More than 21,000 people joined forces to take an incredible combined 150 million steps at WALK 2014, which took place at Yas Marina Circuit yesterday in support of diabetes awareness – the largest turnout in the event’s eight-year history. WALK 2014 is tangible proof that an individual’s effort of just 30 minutes’ exercise can result in huge gains for the greater good.

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, WALK 2014 is organised by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) and is again supported by Daman, who have been behind the Walk since its launch in 2007. This year also saw Health Authority Abu Dhabi, Healthpoint and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi join in, helping to stir up the bumper interest among public and corporate communities across the UAE to walk the 5.5km F1 circuit and help raise awareness of a healthy lifestyle, the key to Diabetes prevention.

The outstanding attendance was also impacted by the massively popular #WALK2014 social media campaign and the ‘Take A Step For Diabetes’ movement across all online platforms. #WALK2014 delivered over 3.7million impressions across both Twitter and Instagram driving engagement from the social media community.

ICLDC's WALK 2014 also took another giant leap with the launch of a brand new 'Big Data' metrics collection initiative to actively track levels of activity and health in the community for use by the community. Bashar Al Ramahi, CEO of Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, said that more than 3,000 people registered their data at WALK 2014 providing a fantastically broad insight into the state of the nation’s activity levels measured by Body Mass Index (BMI).

"The digital engine behind Walk 2014 provided a perfect platform for us to reach out and nudge online subscribers to share their height, weight and exercise activity practice. Their participation provides great insight into the health of the nation providing a new and solid baseline for many practitioners and government bodies to use in planning and activation."
He said that ICLDC will be sharing the first findings from the BMI data collection programme around World Diabetes Day, which is on November 14.

The overriding intention behind WALK 2014 is to increase awareness that regular exercise and a balanced diet is paramount for long-term wellbeing, noting that walking for only 30 minutes every day can greatly reduce the risk of developing diabetes, and related complications.

"WALK 2014 is a key date in our community calendar and we were delighted to be part of today's successful event," added Dr Michael Bitzer, CEO of Daman. "Increasing activity levels and getting people to exercise and improve their health is one of our ongoing strategic goals as a company. I would also like to offer my thanks to all the people that made WALK 2014 such an overwhelming success. Our work relies on your support, and we look forward to effecting real change with you, our community partners."

Running alongside WALK 2014, the inaugural HealthX event also saw large attendance and was hailed as another big success. HealthX was created as a grass roots initiative that provides an idea-sharing platform for health and fitness practitioners and advocates in the UAE, born from a partnership between ICLDC and Yas Marina Circuit. The forum delivered interesting insights and spurred an exchange of knowledge and discussions on a wide variety of topics among the influencers attending. HealthX featured addresses from Kelly Holmes and Adrian Hayes, among other notable speakers.

Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, said: "WALK 2014 was the most successful edition to date and we are sincerely grateful to the ever-growing community of health and fitness enthusiasts that came along to 'Take a Step for Diabetes' at the circuit today. Our commitment to facilitating health and fitness initiatives that have a tangible effect on the lives of people in the UAE is ongoing, and we look forward to welcoming anyone that wishes to make a change in their lifestyles at our regular activities open to all fitness levels at Yas Marina Circuit."

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