Richmond has been recognized for its active and healthy environment in the inaugural Global Active Cities designation.
The label, given by The Active Well-being Initiative, recognizes the effort cities make to offer residents the opportunities to improve their physical well-being.
“Richmond has long been known as one of Canada’s healthiest cities,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a press release.
“We continue to work hard to help our citizens lead healthy, active lives through a wide variety of strategies including our recently approved Community Wellness Strategy, which was developed in concert with numerous partners. This tremendous global honour will help further energize our efforts to make sure all Richmond residents enjoy a great quality of life.”
Richmond received the recognition alongside Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hamburg, Germany; Lillehammer, Norway; Liverpool, UK; and Ljubljana, Slovenia. To receive the Global Active City label, each city had to pass an independent audit that reviewed its physical activity and sports strategies as well as working practices.
According to the World Health Organization, adults should do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity each week, while children aged five to 17 should do an hour daily. This regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of disease including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases as well as a number of mental disorders.
“Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke,” said David Wood, president of the World Heart Federation. “The Global Active City programme will be an important initiative as we seek to get the world moving and in particular in tackling the barriers to exercise experienced by some city populations and specific sections of society.”
The Global Active City program was founded by Evaleo, a sustainable health association, and TAFISA, The Association For International Sport for All, with the support of the International Olympic Committee.
The first winners of the delegation were announced on Sept. 29 as part of the opening events for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.