February 20, 2024

Get active with WHO’s Walk the Talk: Health for All Challenge

International Olympic Committee

17 May 2023 – The World Health Organization (WHO)’s Walk the Talk: Health for All Challenge returns for its fourth edition, with athletes, local sports clubs and the local community coming together in Geneva (Switzerland) on 21 May. Just a month ahead of Olympic Day, which will also encourage the world to move on 23 June, the WHO event is aimed at promoting solidarity, and the physical and mental health benefits of exercise.

Coinciding with the WHO’s 75th anniversary year, the fourth edition of Walk the Talk invites people of all ages and abilities to run or walk a 3km or 4.2km route. Participants will get moving in the early morning from the United Nations (UN) Office in Geneva, also known as the Palace of Nations.

The event will include a running master class led by Ethiopia’s double Olympic champion, Derartu Tulu, and Kenya’s two-time Olympic silver medallist, Paul Tergat, giving enthusiastic runners a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run alongside a pair of long-distance greats. Tulu won 10,000m gold at the Olympic Games Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000, while Tergat took silver in the men’s event over the same distance, at Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.

Since its inception in 2018, the WHO event has taken place in Geneva, New York (USA) and Doha (Qatar), as well as virtually with a global audience in 2020. Whether walking or jogging, Walk the Talk has allowed WHO and its partners to highlight the amazing benefits of physical activity and encourage everyone to make healthier decisions.

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Healthy living objectives to impact billions

According to WHO, each year approximately 3.2 million deaths and 32.1 million disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) are attributable to insufficient physical activity.

The Walk the Talk programme is part of WHO’s ambitious goal, known as the Triple Billion targets, to improve the health of billions of people by 2023:

  • 1 billion more people benefitting from universal health coverage;
  • 1 billion more people better protected from health emergencies; and
  • 1 billion more people enjoying better health and well-being.

Walk the Talk also aims to help achieve Goal 3 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030: ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages.

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