Guyanese have met the Million Mile Challenge which was issued to them by the Ministry of Health in December 2007.

The challenge dared Guyanese to walk, run or swim one million miles within 12 months. It aimed to promote physical activity through the nation, Minister of Health Leslie Ramsammy said at a press conference on Monday.

Physical inactivity, the minister stressed, contributed to the risk factors for many chronic diseases. However, Ramsammy was pleased that citizens from churches, schools, work places and sport clubs responded to the challenge issued by the Ministry of health.

Running, walking, cycling, swimming, dancing and other physical activities were encouraged so that people would maintain their good health and adopt healthier lifestyles.

Swimming contributed a total of 80,000 miles while cycling and walking contributed 50,000 and 750,000 miles respectively.

Further, another 340,000 miles were contributed by over 200 persons who walked diligently. Organized walks, activities in various communities and dedicated seawall walkers added their thousands to the one million mile aim as well.

Ramsammy extended thanks to all the organizations and people who were formal members of the drive.

These included the Caricom Secretariat, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and the Pan-American Health Organiza-tion.

Given the success of the 2008 challenge, the minister said, a new one has been set this year. All Guyanese are challenged to walk, run, swim or cycle 1.5 million miles.

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