(Hong Kong, 25 January 2022) – It’s no secret that exercise is good for our bodies, but do you know moving is good for our minds too? In fact, exercise can help significantly in preventing mental health problems, increasing positive emotions, and enhancing our overall sense of well-being. Sadly, however, 80% of Hongkongers do not achieve the World Health Organisation’s most basic recommended physical activity levels. 34% of Hong Kong adults reported that they rarely exercise or do no exercise at all. But all is not lost.
The local mental health charity, Mind HK, is encouraging everyone to move more in 2022 and get off to an active start by joining their 5th annual “Move it for Mental Health 2022” (MoveItHK2022) challenge and completing 280,000+ steps in a stepathon challenge during the month of February. They are inviting people to get their friends, colleagues and families involved too.
Participants can take up any physical activity they like such as walking, running, rope skipping, jogging and hiking in order to complete approximately 10,000 steps per day. The programme is supported by Here to Be, lululemon’s social impact programme and Laureus Sport for Good. All the “movers” who successfully complete 280,000 or more steps between 1 and 28 February 2022, will be eligible for a reward. Companies can also participate as teams to create a greater sense of motivation.
Together with the stepathon challenge, Mind HK is also co-organising several online mental health workshops with InspiringHK Sports Foundation and KELY Support Group. These will target mainly youth aged 13 – 24 years. The workshops will be hosted by clinical professionals, so participants can gain a good understanding of the relationship between physical exercise, lifestyle, and mental health.
For many of us, the restrictions due to the COVID situation have disrupted our exercise routines, lowered our morale and upset our daily lives. This has led to increasing mental health problems globally, as physical and mental health are closely linked. Robust evidence shows that certain levels of exercise can stimulate the release of endorphins and other positive neurotransmitters to improve our mood and self-esteem, reduce feelings of negative emotions, and relieve stress and anxiety.
Karen Lau, the Mind HK Clinical Advisor said, “Physical exercise can be a key component in treating specific mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. We should not underestimate the tremendous benefits that simply being on our feet and moving around can bring to our well-being. The path to better mental health truly lies at our feet!”
Last year, over 4,200 participants took part in the “Move it for Mental Health 2021” 50km nature challenge and they clocked up over 100,000kms between them. According to the post challenge survey, 86% of participants said they noticed a positive difference in their mental health after exercising outdoors. Respondents who had previously reported poor mental health and well-being dropped to 16% compared to 40% before joining the challenge.
Mr Gareth Pope, Senior Vice President, lululemon, Asia Pacific said, “At lululemon, we are committed to supporting the holistic well-being of our community. We believe that physical health and mental health are equally important, and we are happy to support our Here to Be partner Mind HK for the 2nd year in advocating the importance of physical exercise for mental health.”
Ms Malina Ngai, Laureus Ambassador and CEO A.S.Watson (Asia and Europe) said, “The mental health and well-being of society has been tested over the past few years and young people have been affected the most in Hong Kong. By empowering our community and working with partners like Mind HK through our Model City programme, we aim to use the power of sport and physical activity to support activities and campaigns such as Move it for Mental Health that educates, challenge attitudes and stigmas as well as support young people’s mental health.”
How to join the “Move it for Mental Health 2022” – 280,000 Stepathon Challenge
You can sign up for the Challenge at www.moveithk.com Registration closes on 19 February 2022.
Participants who complete 280,000 or more steps within the month of February, by walking, hiking, running, dancing, or any other exercises that can count steps, can win a reward. Companies and participants can also become a #MoveItHK supporters through in-kind donations or fundraising for Mind HK on simplygiving.com. For more information, please get in touch with [email protected].
To find out more about the “Move it for Mental Health 2022” supporting and participating organisations at:
Safety is always a top priority at Mind HK. So, in light of the flu season and the COVID situation, we ask all “#MoveItHK” participants to take extra safety precautions during this time: wash your hands before and after working out, wear a mask when in the community or in crowded areas, avoid exercising in groups and in crowded areas. Please refer to government guidelines: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/index.html.
Promotional video and high-resolution images to download:
“Move It for Mental Health 2022” Promotional video link:
Jeff Chan / Chloe Hung
E: [email protected]/ [email protected]
T: +852 2509 3308
Carol Liang, Deputy CEO, Mind HK
About Mind Hong Kong:
Mind HK (Mind Mental Health Hong Kong Limited) is a S88 registered charity (91/16471), which launched in 2017. The organisation’s vision is to ensure no one in Hong Kong has to face a mental health problem alone. Through resources, training, and outreach campaigns and programmes, their work helps to educate around mental health and remove the associate stigma, with the aim of achieving the best mental health for all in Hong Kong. With existing collaboration and research efforts, Mind HK supports Hong Kong in becoming a global leader and regional model for public mental health. For more on their work, vision and mission, please visit www.mind.org.hk.
Anyone in Hong Kong who needs help with their mental health can be assured that they are entitled to the full support of Mind HK irrespective of their gender, race, background, or beliefs. To be effective and credible, Mind HK operates as a neutral and impartial humanitarian charity without any political affiliations or other conflicts of interest. The work we do, especially our research, is dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable groups and maintaining the best mental health possible for all of Hong Kong. We hope that anyone reporting or commenting on our work will respect and support our independence and neutrality.
For more information, please visit www.mind.org.hk and follow us on social media.
YouTube Channel: https://bit.ly/3cMtqyu
About lululemon’s “Here to Be” Programme:
lululemon is a healthy lifestyle inspired athletic apparel company for yoga, running, training, and other sweaty pursuits for men and women, creating transformational products and experiences which enable people to live a life they love. Here to Be is lululemon’s social impact programme. Together with our partners, we disrupt inequity in well-being through movement, mindfulness, and advocacy.
About Laureus Sport for Good
Laureus is a global movement that uses the power of sport to transform the lives of children and young people. In 2000, Laureus’ founding patron Nelson Mandela said, ‘Sport has the power to change the world’, and these words have become the philosophy of Laureus and the driving force behind its work. Since 2000, Laureus Sport for Good has improved used the power of sport to change the lives of over six million young people, currently supports more than 250 programmes in over 40 countries. The work of Laureus Sport for Good aims to address six key social issues identified by the UN that are affecting young people across the world: Health, Education, Women and Girls, Employability, Inclusive Society and Peaceful Society. For more information, visit laureus.com.