Promoting Physical Activity Among Ugandan Parliamentarians
It might seem surprising but Uganda is facing a growing burden of overweight and obesity. This trend is already resulting in a higher prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases like diabetes. In addition to efforts at improving individual behavior, effective public policy is critical to preventing chronic disease.
In 2009, the USC Institute for Global Health partnered with the Parliament of Uganda to promote physical activity and established a fitness gym for the members and staff of the Parliament of Uganda. The project aimed to increase MPs’ awareness and motivate them to re-evaluate old policies and develop new laws to protect the public from the threat of chronic disease and to improve access to treatment.
Today, the gym remains a success among parliamentarians, the police force and other government workers. The Parliament staffs and runs the gym, which has since been expanded, and now offers daily fitness classes and state-of-the-art exercise equipment. The Institute continues to contribute a health and wellness pages to the Parliament Bulletin, a monthly periodical for MPs.