Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) has partnered with Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) to help inspire people to take control of their lives and improve their health during the upcoming National Sports Day.

The initiative is being run through the college’s groundbreaking community health programme, Sahtak Awalan – Your Health First, in which QOC is a strategic partner.

From 6 February through 11 February 2014, Sahtak Awalan will host a stand in the QOC’s Sport Zone that is being created near to the central post office on the Corniche. The stand will have a host of information and products that can help people make small changes in their lives that will have a big impact in the future. There will also be the chance to evaluate your current health. Dean of WCMC-Q, Dr Javaid Sheikh, said:

Our health is one of the most important gifts we have and we have a duty to ourselves, our families and our friends to look after it. Just making small changes in your life – exercising for 30 minutes a day for example – can have major health benefits. National Sports Day gives the Sahtak Awalan team the opportunity to spread this message and I hope everyone will take advantage of the information available.’

The Sahtak Awalan stand will feature cutting edge technology in the form of the AGE reader which is able to provide a prediction of the risk of major chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, and a body analyser machine that calculates muscle mass, metabolic age and bone mineral mass among many other measurements. In addition, there will be metabolic assessments, cognitive tests and sleep questionnaires that relate to obesity and diabetes.

Dr Shahrad Taheri, Professor of Medicine at WCMC-Q, said the technology on the stand could provide significant information to improve future health. Dr Taheri said:

The equipment that will be available at the Sahtak Awalan stand can pick up on the body’s early warning signals. That information could be the impetus that someone needs to change their life for the better, whether that means improving their diet, exercising more or losing weight. This is a wonderful opportunity for people to have their health checked using the latest equipment.’

The Sahtak Awalan stand will also feature a host of information and health and fitness products including healthy recipes, information about calculating your body mass index (BMI), and practical fitness aids like pedometers that encourage people to walk further and skipping ropes with integrated calorie-counters.

The aim is that people will be inspired by the physical activity happening around them and make 2014 the year when they change their lives for the better. There will also be a huge canvas for visitors to paint as part of the Paint Your Healthy Future initiative.

Created by WCMC-Q and run in conjunction with the Supreme Council of Health, the campaign was launched in June 2012 to inform the population – both nationals and expats – about healthy lifestyles and to encourage them to adopt behaviors that will promote their long-term health. It is a five-year initiative that will end in 2016.