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The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) broke the existing Guinness World Record for the largest number of medical professionals to take part in a marathon.
On Friday, more than 690 medical professionals took part in the Dubai Marathon 2014, breaking the earlier Guinness World Record of 2012 when 619 medical professionals took part in the marathon in Singapore.
Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the DHA, who led his team in the marathon record bid said: “Leading an active life is essential to protect oneself from the onset of several chronic diseases, most of which are trigged by unhealthy and inactive lifestyles. Healthcare professionals often have hectic routines and therefore we wanted to use this opportunity to remind them to take time out for themselves and participate in the marathon. We are hopeful that they will continue exercising regularly, even after the marathon is over.”
Al Maidoor, who is an avid sports enthusiast, said it is unfortunate that people do not find 30 minutes in a day for themselves so that they can take part in any sport or exercise.
More than 1,255 employees from the DHA ran on Friday for the Dubai Marathon 2014, this includes administrative from the DHA as well.
“This is the largest participation from a government organisation in a sporting event in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region,” said Dr Moin Fikree, medical director of the Trauma Centre, Rashid Hospital.
Fikree said that there are several parks, jogging tracks and beaches in Dubai where people can take part in outdoor activities during the winter months.
He said: “As healthcare professionals, it is upsetting to see young people being brought into the hospital for heart attacks and other chronic diseases often caused by obesity, lack of exercise and tobacco consumption.”
Dr G. Y. Naroo, specialist in emergency medicine at Rashid Hospital’s Trauma Centre, who took part in the 42 km run along with his eight colleagues, said: “Heart attacks take place 10 years earlier in this region compared to many western countries, strokes take place at least 20 years earlier in the UAE as compared to many other countries. These statistics are alarming. There is a direct link between expanding waist lines and these illnesses, therefore, it is time to educate our youth to lead active lifestyles and as the health authority for the emirate of Dubai, we felt, it was important for us to spread this message through our participation in such an important sporting event.”
At the DHA stand, several brochures and educational materials were available about healthy foods and ways to lead a healthy lifestyle.
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