Abu Dhabi residents urged to keep fit as survey shows four in 10 get enough exercise

Walking, cycling and swimming were named among the emirate's favourite ways to stay in shape

Running was cited as one of Abu Dhabi residents' favourite forms of exercise. Khushnum Bhandari/ The National
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Abu Dhabi residents are being encouraged to keep fit as a survey showed just under 40 per cent get the recommended amount of weekly exercise.

The study, carried out by the Department of Community Development, showed that 37.5 per cent of residents are getting at least 150 minutes' moderate or 75 minutes' vigorous physical activity per week – the amount recommended by the World Health Organisation.

“We are pleased to see such a positive response from the Abu Dhabi community, who’ve allowed us to gather insight about their lives and the way they pursue their health goals,” said Mohamed Al Balooshi, executive director of the DCD's community engagement and sports sector.

“We at the DCD, along with our partners and stakeholders, strongly believe that physical activity is essential to building a stronger and more resilient emirate and country.”

Almost 11,000 people of various nationalities and age groups were quizzed in the survey.

Of those who took part, 57 per cent were male and 43 per cent were female.

The survey showed more than 47.3 per cent of people who exercised regularly were walking for leisure, while more than 38 per cent were jogging and running to keep fit.

Cycling and swimming were also listed as preferred forms of exercise.

A lack of available time was cited as the main reason for not exercising by more than 40 per cent of respondents.

Adverse weather conditions and a lack of motivation were also commonly cited reasons for not getting enough physical activity.

“We’ve been working on comprehensive programmes and policies that will inspire people to get more active,” said Mr Al Balooshi, citing the DCD’s One Community campaign as a key example, along with collaboration with public and private sporting groups to promote cycling, running, walking and swimming.

Updated: July 04, 2023, 1:42 PM