On the 12th of December 2014, the Cabinet declared an Annual Recreation Day on the first Friday of October. By declaring this one day on the South African calendar as National Recreation Day, It is expected that all South Africans will be made aware of the need to become physically active and that they will dedicate some part of their day towards participating in physical activities of their choice intended to promote life-long wellness.
This could provide them with the first-hand experience and motivation needed to continue participating voluntarily in physical activities as they begin to realize the personal and social benefits thereof.
South Africa, like the rest of the world, is facing a variety of challenges, incorporating everything from obesity, cardiac disease, diabetes, respiratory ailments, an ageing population, an increase in sedentary lifestyles and therefore loss of personal interaction and fitness, youth unemployment, high levels of violence, and conflict between people.
In fact, global research highlights that by 2030, in the absence of intervention intended to address the impact of obesity (and related ailments emanating from lack of or declining physical activity) on the health of global citizens, 50% of citizens will be obese. Here at home, South Africa is sitting with 3% of South African women over the age of 15 being obese and 42% of urban women obese.
It is against this framework that the need to get an active citizenry campaign to drive the South African population to develop an ethic of being physically active becomes mandatory.
We call on the public and private sector to provide time out for their respective employees to participate in programes of the day for the 5th of October 2018.
In turn, we call on all South Africans to take time out and choose to be active on National Recreation Day.