A new challenge in Abu Dhabi is encouraging individuals to get walking — and help the emirate achieve one billion steps in six weeks.

Launched by the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), the interactive challenge seeks to bring thousands of people together to reach the fitness goal by the time the 9th International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress concludes in Abu Dhabi.

The One Billion Steps Challenge will run for six weeks from September 23 till October 26, organisers have said.

How to join

Participants can download the STEPPI app for free to track their progress and make their contribution to the campaign.

A dedicated website with a live counter will display the accumulated steps taken. It will also include recommendations on different activities individuals can do to take as many steps as possible, to get the chance to enter a draw to win Etihad Airways tickets.

Besides inviting all residents, the event also aims to attract participation from more than 1,000 visitors from around the world who will attend the ninth edition of the congress, which will take place from October 23 to 26 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

"Whether it’s walking or running, every step will make a huge difference and requires a collective effort from individuals and organisations in the UAE, as well as hundreds of delegates and experts that will be attending the Congress to achieve our ambitious target of one billion steps," said Matar Al Nuaimi, director-general of the ADPHC.

Jasper Schipperijn, president of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health, added: “This is a very exciting initiative and involves all of the community in the lead up to this important congress and raises awareness of the importance of physical activity amongst the community.”

ADPHC is the region’s first dedicated centre protecting the physical, mental and social well-being of Abu Dhabi residents. The initiative has been launched by the Ministry of Health and Prevention Society, Department of Community Development, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the fitness app STEPPI.

The ISPAH Congress is the largest physical activity and health congress in the world.

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