BC Medical Association

BC Medical Association

May 10, 2011 13:17 ET

Getting Residents of Vancouver Island Up and Moving for 2nd Annual Walk With Your Doc

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) - Each day we are made aware that obesity is on the rise. With only a small number of Canadians meeting their daily activity goals, BC doctors are taking the initiative to get their inactive patients up and moving.

Beginning today and continuing throughout the week, more than 100 BC doctors across the province will be taking nearly 2,000 of their sedentary patients on a Walk with your Doc. To coincide with the World Health Organization's Move for Health Day, BC doctors and their patients will take a symbolic one kilometer walk in their community to highlight the importance of being physically active.

Dr Ron Wilson, who chairs the BC Medical Association's Athletic and Recreation Committee, created the first Walk with your Doc last year and hopes each year to increase the number of physician and patient participants.

"Being active is the best present you can give your body. If I could prescribe one pill a day to eliminate a number of ailments, it would be exercise," said Dr Wilson. "Efforts to be healthier and become more active can be difficult, but as doctors we can help our patients get moving and achieve their goals."

There will be 68 walks taking place in 35 communities around the province now through the end of the week. On Vancouver Island, physicians will lead 11 walks in the communities of Victoria, Nanaimo, Parksville, Campbell River, Gold River, Courtenay and Comox.

"Physicians are considered community leaders, and if we are to 'talk the talk' to our inactive patients, then we had better be prepared to 'walk the walk,'" said Dr Derek Poteryko, a family doctor in Nanaimo. "If this event inspires even one person to make daily activity a regular part of their lives, then we have been successful."

Physicians across the province are committed to encouraging their patients to reverse the obesity and inactivity trend and prevent bigger health care issues later on in life such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and high blood pressure. As well as organizing a walk with their patients, doctors will be handing out pedometers to every patient that participates.

"I want my patients to understand that a journey to daily activity can start with just a few steps out the door," says Dr Jennifer Kask, family physician in Campbell River. "I'm hoping there will be future walks where not only will doctors challenge their patients to participate in physical activity, but patients will challenge their doctors to set a good example."

Being active is the most important aspect of maintaining good health, yet recent data shows that only 15% of adults meet the newly downgraded goal of 150 minutes per week of physical activity and just 7% of youth meet their requirement of 60 minutes per day. Quality of life is higher and mortality rates are lower when physical activity is part of our daily routine.

Contact Information

  • BC Medical Association
    Sharon Shore
    Communications & Media Relations
    604-638-2832 or 604-306-1866 (pager)