Western Cape on Wellness Reduces Unhealthy Living
Western Cape on Wellness (WoW) Fights Obesity, Improve Systolic Blood Pressure, Halves Hypertension and Reduces Unhealthy Living Amongst 315 Participants!
WoW! is wellness-promoting initiative of the Western Cape Government: Health in partnership with its valued partners. WoW forms part of the Provincial Strategic Goals (PSG3): to increase wellness, improve safety and tackle social ills within communities – an operation between government departments, private sector, business, schools and communities” , says Western Cape Health minister, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo. Since the launch of WoW! in 2015, it has gained huge momentum by promoting and activating healthy lifestyles to prevent, reduce and better self-manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart diseases which are increasing at an alarming rate. Unhealthy lifestyles are characterised by a lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating and being overweight. The results presented at the culmination of phase one speaks volumes in the Western Cape Government’s brainchild to address unhealthy living.
Phase one of the WoW! initiative (testing and evaluation) was concluded and revealed very encouraging data. 315 volunteer participants completed the baseline study and repeated wellness screens at three and/or six months intervals. At the start of the programme:
- more than 80% of participants were either overweight or obese
- over 50% of members from schools and community groups were hypertensive
- less than 25% of all members were meeting recommendations for physical activity (150 min/week)
Through active participation in the WoW initiative, members’ results showed:
- Significant reduction in blood pressure
- High blood pressure was halved in 3 months
- Significant improvement in healthy eating
- Significant increase in physical activity
- Significant reduction in time spent sitting
- Significant improvement in overall quality of life
- Significant improvement in general health status
- Significant reduction in waist circumference
“In line with the Department’s long term strategic roadmap for achieving wellness – the Healthcare 2030- we will continue spreading the important message of wellness, promoting positive behavioural change for the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases caused by physical inactivity, unhealthy eating and harmful use of substances including smoking and alcohol – which are all major risk factors for a number of adverse health outcomes,” says Mbombo.
WoW was tested in public spaces, workplaces, schools and communities across the Western Cape by WoW! Champions. These are volunteers who have been trained to champion these initiatives in different settings. Interactive and fun activities such as Zumba, Tae Bo, Tai Chi and aerobics were introduced to the ordinary citizen which makes WoW suitable for everyone, from pregnant women to the elderly.
In response to feedback from WoW! Champions, Clubs and Youth Leaders, Phase 2 of WoW will see a new look, which is truly WoW! with a new vibrant logo incorporating the important elements of LEARN! LIVE! EAT! PLAY!
One of Cape Town’s household favourites and celebrity doctor, Dr Darren Green, will be at the forefront of the WoW movement as he shares health and wellness advice in combatting non-communicable diseases. The globe-trotting, well respected medical figure and master of ceremonies on the day is sure to bring his uniquely lively discussion to what is sure to be a day filled with fun and knowledge.
As WoW continues on its new, fresh journey it will bring with it a dedicated website where prospective members can find free information and resources (including the catchy WoW Dance!) and where the participants can register, measure their health status and manage their progress Be part of the WoW movement today; visit www.westerncape.gov.za/wow to find out more on how to join and start healthy lifestyle actions today! Be Healthy! Be Happy! Be You! Be WoW!
Mark van der Heever
Deputy Director: Communications
Western Cape Government Health
Tel: 021 483 3716
Cell: 078 589 4156