The Dubai Fitness Challenge ran from October 26 to November 24, 2018.
PHOTO BY JONATHAN YBERA/EXPAT MEDIA
DUBAI – When it comes to Dubai fitness, Indians and Filipinos are the strongest bunch, according to results on the social impact of the Dubai Fitness Challenge released on Monday (February 4).
The latest results showed that the largest participation in the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC) were from Indians (31 per cent), followed by Filipinos (11 per cent) and Emiratis (10 per cent).
More than half of the participants were students in 2018; with schools accounting for 55 per cent of the registrants, strongly growing their representation from 44 per cent in 2017.
This achievement falls in line with DFC’s aim to instill the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle among students to help nurture and sustain life-long health and fitness habits among the youth.
Impact assessment of DFC confirms the strong and growing resolution of the city to become the most active city in the world. The movement was spearheaded by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.
The 30-day city-wide Challenge, held between October 26 to November 24, saw an unprecedented 1,053,100 people lead the change, undertaking the long-term commitment to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Beyond recording a 34 per cent increase from 2017 (786,000 participants), the second edition also saw engagement setting a new bar at 92 per cent, up from the already high 90 per cent level in 2017.
The 30×30 Challenge featured a larger, more inclusive and interactive programme, with an extensive range of fitness and sporting activities including 8,000 workout sessions, free-to-attend activations, wellness workshops and training sessions across 250 locations – allowing all residents and visitors across age groups and fitness levels to fulfil the target minimum of 30 minutes of daily activity.
In addition, to motivate, empower and inspire the masses, DFC rallied the support of a host of international celebrities, sports and fitness personalities that ardently championed the cause, including Marcus Smith – who ran 30 marathons in 30 days; Sir Mo Farah, the most successful British track athlete in modern Olympic Games; Team Angel Wolf – with #TogetherWeCan community programme created for People of Determination; and fitness gurus Chris and Heidi Powell amongst others.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) said: “Our recent consumer research that compares pre and post DFC behaviours to assess tangible impact, reveals extremely high satisfaction scores across all aspects of the festival itself, in addition to a marked improvement in lifestyle choices. These are strong indicators that this city-wide movement is turning into a social platform for good health, and by extension, well-being and happiness of Dubai’s entire community.
According to the published impact report, DFC 2018 attained 85 per cent overall satisfaction score with the “very active” participants hitting an even higher 87 per cent. The top 3 drivers of high satisfaction and consequently engagement and advocacy, include safety and security achieving an impressive 89 per cent, closely seconded by staff friendliness at 88 per cent, and environmental/spatial ambience at 84 per cent.
Beyond absolute numbers growth, 92 per cent of participants achieved the target of the 30×30 Challenge, compared to 90 per cent during DFC 2017 with an incredible 61 per cent of participants recording at least 30 to 60 minutes, 21 per cent 60 to 90 minutes and 10 per cent over 90 minutes of daily activity.
Reflecting the positive impact of greater access and improved calendar of programmes, 41 per cent participated in DFC activities compared to 33 per cent in 2017, and all five DFC Fitness Villages drew significant participation with DMCC Fitness Village, Kite Beach Fitness Village and Palm Jumeirah Fitness Village being used most regularly by the people.
Furthermore, from a long-term lifestyle change oriented viewpoint, DFC appears to have positively influenced vital health indicators such as frequency of exercise with 76 per cent of individuals surveyed exercising 3 times per week, 50 per cent of individuals following a specific diet plan during DFC, 73 per cent of individuals consuming more than 8 glasses of water per day and 70 per cent of individuals following a better sleeping pattern with more than 6 hours of sleep a day. Results show the variance between the pre and post DFC levels of activity doubling in 2018 to 28 per cent versus 14 per cent in 2017.
Overall, the 30-day Challenge delivered against its objectives of positively impacting societal wellbeing across a broad spectrum of sporting and fitness activities. The top activities of DFC 2018 were Aerobic & Cardio activities, Running, Walking, Jogging, Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Weightlifting, HIIT, Circuit, Football, Cricket, Basketball, Swimming, Kayaking and Diving. GAD/Expat Media
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