Aspetar’s Healthy Lifestyle Programme (HLP) is aimed at changing a current inactive lifestyle to one that includes exercise, an understanding of nutrition, and an overall better health.
The HLP believes that a rapid change in everyday life must be undertaken to combat Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which represent a clear threat not only to human health, but also to development and economic growth.
Startling statistics show that more than 60% of all deaths worldwide are attributed to NCDs, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic pulmonary diseases. Addressing the risks involved can substantially lower these figures. Unhealthy nutritional habits, smoking and physical inactivity in particular constitute the most common risk factors that result in NCDs as the leading cause of ill health.
It has been proven that active lifestyles have a positive impact on health and emotional well-being, and are associated with a healthier, longer life with a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and some cancers.
Other long-term benefits of physical activity include combating weight gain, improving mental health and developing overall well being, all of which prevent the onset of chronic lifestyle NCDs.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle is one of the main strategic objectives of Qatar’s National Health Strategy (NHS), with Aspetar and the Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) objectives being to reduce the burden of NCDs among the population of Qatar.
In addition to these objectives, HLP’s mission is to:
- Reverse lifestyle related risk factors by creating a world-class comprehensive lifestyle intervention programme that is culturally accepted and based on best clinical practice.
- Create multi-disciplinary, integrated and comprehensive lifestyle programmes facilitated through a variety of channels to achieve large-scale coverage to the people of Qatar.
Since its inception in 2013, the Healthy Lifestyle Programme has also launched numerous projects and activities that have been successfully implemented, including Qatar Active Schools (QAS), Step into Health (SIH), Namat for a Healthy Life Web-platform and magazine, and Exercise is Medicine (EIM).