(23rd January 2024 – Hong Kong) – Hong Kong mental health charity Mind HK announces its annual “Move It for Mental Health 2024” campaign to highlight the transformative power of exercising in nature on both mental and physical health. Sponsored by lululemon, this year’s campaign, which kicks off in March, will be taking a new hybrid approach, combining a 50km in nature virtual challenge with the charity’s first physical Fun Run to encourage individuals to prioritise their mental health through regular physical activity.
Exercise has a profound, positive impact on mental health. It improves mood, reduces stress and anxiety, enhances self-esteem, and boosts cognitive function. Additionally, exercise effectively reduces the risk of depression and can be utilised as a treatment for mild to moderate symptoms of depression (O’neal et al., 2000).
Despite the undoubted value of exercise, a quarter of adults in Hong Kong fail to achieve even a minimum level of physical activity (Centre for Health Protection, 2022), while only 5.2% of young people aged 5-17 reach the recommended levels of physical activity on weekdays (Inspiring HK, 2020). Additionally, there has been a noticeable decline in the number of individuals visiting the countryside, with 37% of respondents reporting fewer visits in 2023 compared to 2022 (Green Power Education Trust, 2023). These figures indicate a pressing need to encourage and support individuals in adopting regular outdoor exercise habits in Hong Kong, particularly given that 1 in every 6 people in the territory is experiencing a mental health condition (Mind HK, 2023).
For the seventh consecutive year, “Move It for Mental Health 2024” invites Hong Kong citizens to immerse themselves in a month-long virtual challenge. By registering online, individuals can join the virtual challenge to complete a cumulative distance of 50km in nature, either in a single continuous endeavour or by splitting it over multiple running, hiking, or walking sessions.
Participants are also encouraged to join an in-person Fun Run event for the first time. This not only adds a meaningful dimension to the 50km goal, but also creates a vibrant sense of community. By engaging individuals of all fitness levels across the city, this campaign aims to foster healthy lifestyle habits within the public and underscores the immense significance of embracing the great outdoors as a catalyst for overall wellbeing.
The 50km in nature virtual challenge will take place from 1st to 31st March and is free of charge. Anyone can sign up via Give Asia from now until Sunday 10th March 2024. They can achieve their goal in the month of March by taking up their choice of outdoor physical activities, such as walking, running, or hiking along nature trails, coastal walks, or country parks individually or as a team, while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the spring season.
Mind HK’s “Move It for Mental Health 2024” campaign is sponsored by lululemon and supported by Carbon. As an extra incentive, participants who successfully complete the challenge and take part in an end-of-challenge Wellbeing Survey will have a chance to win exciting prizes from supporting brands such as lululemon, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, and The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. To make your steps even more impactful, participants can also choose to make donations at the checkout process to receive a limited-edition ‘Move It’ tote bag as a token of Mind HK’s appreciation or become a #MoveitHK supporter and help raise funds for Mind HK through the Give Asia fundraising page. This will help to support the charity’s efforts in improving access to mental health services for the community.
“Move It for Mental Health 2024” will feature the first in-person Fun Run on 3rd March from 8:30 am to 12 noon, starting from the AIA Vitality Hub. Participants can choose to run or walk the 5km course along the harbourfront in Central. The event will kick off with a pre-race warm-up led by lululemon Ambassador Calvin Chan, ensuring participants are energised and ready to enjoy the course. Participants can enjoy post-run refreshments and mingle with fellow participants. This unique opportunity allows individuals to not only engage in some invigorating physical activity but also immerse themselves in the outdoors and the community. Registration for the in-person Fun Run event is available via Eventbrite.
Dr Candice Powell, CEO, Mind HK and a Clinical Psychologist, said, “It’s essential to acknowledge the profound impact of nature and physical activity on our mental wellbeing. Participating in outdoor exercise provides an antidote to the stresses of daily life in Hong Kong by offering a valuable opportunity to connect to our body and recharge. Research consistently shows the positive effects of outdoor physical activity on mental health, including stress reduction, anxiety alleviation, and improvements in mood and cognitive function.
“At Mind HK, we are dedicated to promoting the crucial connection between nature, exercise, and mental wellbeing. We are grateful to continue our partnership with lululemon and sincerely appreciate their generous support. We invite everyone to join us for Move it for Mental Health 2024, a 50km challenge designed to jumpstart your journey towards improved mental health and wellbeing.”
With over 2,000 participants in previous years, the campaign has received a lot of positive feedback. Results from the Wellbeing Survey of Mind HK in 2022 show that 85.5% of participants felt motivated to continue exercising, and there was an average increase of over 20% in overall levels of wellbeing based on the WHO-5 wellbeing index.
Yvette Kong, Mind HK Board Member, Olympic Swimmer and lululemon Mental Wellbeing Global Advisory Board Member, said, “Physical activity is about more than flexing your muscles; it’s about boosting mind power, too! Regular exercise not only boosts mood through the release of endorphins, but also serves as a powerful tool for stress reduction and enhancing our ability to manage anxiety and depression. Additionally, the discipline and focus required in physical training can help us to improve cognitive function and foster a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem, which are crucial for overall mental resilience.”
Cado Lee, lululemon Ambassador and Professional Rugby Player, said, “Playing sport allows me to focus on the present and not get distracted by other things; it also brings me joy doing it with friends.”
Mr Gareth Pope, Senior Vice President, lululemon, Asia Pacific, said, “Wellbeing has always been a top priority at lululemon. Through our Grow Impact Fund, we are proud to support Mind HK for the fourth year running in their work of empowering the community to achieve holistic wellbeing. lululemon is committed to advocating for and advancing greater possibilities and wellbeing for all. We aim to inspire people everywhere to embrace a healthier way of living, not only physically, but also mentally and socially.”
Details about Mind HK Move It for Mental Health Campaign 2024
The 50km in nature virtual challenge
Event Period: 1st March 2024 – 31st March 2024
Registration: From now until 10th March 2024
Sign Up at: Give Asia
Learn more here: https://www.mind.org.hk/moveithk2024/
Fun Run Event
Event Period: 3 March 2024 (Sunday)
Registration: From now until 29th February 2024
Sign Up at: Eventbrite
Age Limit: All participants need to be at least 18 years of age or above
Carol Liang, Deputy CEO, Mind HK
E: [email protected]
About Mind HK
Mind HK (Mind Mental Health Hong Kong Limited) is an S88 registered charity (91/16471), which was launched in 2017. The organisation’s vision is to ensure that no one in Hong Kong has to face a mental health problem alone. Through
resources, training, and outreach campaigns and programmes, the work of Mind HK helps to raise awareness of mental health and reduce the associated stigma, with the aim of achieving the best mental health for all in Hong Kong. With existing collaboration and research efforts, Mind HK is here to support Hong Kong in becoming a global leader and regional model for public mental health. For more on Mind HK’s work, vision, and mission, please visit www.mind.org.hk/.
Mind HK’s Social Media Platforms:
Mind HK’s Facebook: @hongkongmind /Mind HK’s Instagram: @mindhongkong / More Than a Label Instagram: @morethanalabelhk
lululemon is a healthy lifestyle inspired athletic apparel company for yoga, running, training, and most other sweaty pursuits for men and women, creating transformational products and experiences which enable people to live a life they love. lululemon believes everyone has the right to be well, and we know the path to wellbeing is possible when tools, support, and resources as accessible to all. Through the lululemon Centre for Social Impact, we leverage our expertise, resources, and communities to invest in and advocate for the wellbeing of those most impacted by systemic inequity, guided by our goal of positively impacting
10 million people by 2025.
lululemon’s Social Media Platforms:
lululemon Hong Kong and Macau’s Facebook: @lululemonhk / lululemon Hong Kong and Macau’s Instagram: @lululemonhk