ThaiHealth has collaborated with the Physical Activity Research Centre (PARC) in organising the 1st National Conference on Physical Activity to call on Thai people to move their bodies and to kick idling habit, with a target of 80% more physical activities within the year 2021 when Thailand hosts the 6th National Conference on Physical Activity again.
Themed under “Active Living For All”, the National Conference on Physical Activity, the first of its kind, organised during November 17 to 18, 2015, at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, ended with fruitful results thanks to collaboration from various organisations e.g. the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, and Chulalongkorn University.
Assoc Prof Wilasinee Phiphitkul, Senior Director of ThaiHealth, said that the organisation had collaborated with all parts of the society to work on increasing the rate of physical activities and promoting health spaces. According to 2015 statistics jointly conducted with the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, it has found that physical activities for Thai have increased from 66.3% in 2012 to 71.6% in 2015, representing a 7% increase. The increase is not considered high compared to the average of 13.42 hours of idling behaviours among Thai people as opposed to 1.57 active movements in a day. Most of the collected idling activities are staring at computer screens, sitting in meetings, sitting at work desk, and sitting in class.
In 2021, it is expected that ThaiHealth, with collaboration from various organisations, will successfully see an increasing rate of physical activities among Thai people by no less than 80%, while reducing the conditions of overweight and obesity in children by 10% in 2019 by promoting physical activities for people of all ages, a creation of health space or environment that promotes physical activities. Physical activities are easy to do on a daily basis to reduce idling behaviours and to promote physical activities as the trend on the national level. “As the promotion of physical activities needs strong collaboration from several organisations in the fields of public health, sports, transport, education, city planning, and many more, it is imperative for ThaiHealth to organise an information exchange forum by summoning representatives of government, society, and academic sectors to jointly gather knowledge and develop strategies so that the society can move forward toward the common goal,” said Assoc Prof Wilasinee.
Asst Prof Dr Kasem Nakornkhet, Director of the Physical Activity Research Centre, meanwhile, added that the first National Conference on Physical Activity was a common ground for information exchange and presentation of more than 200 research findings of interest by members of the academia and university lecturers in the field from across the country who conducted researches about physical activities and related fields, demonstrations of inventions and scientific innovation used to measure body metabolism under daily circumstances or during exercise, demonstrations of physical activities in various forms for people of all ages. This conference also served as a common ground for physical activists in Thailand to prepare themselves for Asia’s first International Conference on Physical Activity on November 16-19, 2016, at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.
The National Conference on Physical Activity featured a wide range of activities, including special lectures on “NCDs and Physical Activity” by Asst Prof Dr Somkiat Sangwatanaroj, “International Movement of Physical Activity” by President of International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Prof Dr Fiona Bull, and a large selection of exhibition on interesting innovations.