European No Lifts Day: Stand Clear of the Doors Take the Stairs and Shed the Avoirdupois
Stay clear of those lift doors, take the stairs and shed the kilos is the message the Copenhagen-based Now We Move campaign is spreading around a continent it worries is alarmingly obese.
Anyone living in France though knows the country is marked by a significantly active population – famous for healthy dietary habits (France may have a growing obesity problem, yet it still records the lowest Body Mass Index of 15 European countries), Tour de France cycle enthusiasts and keen cadres of long distance walkers.
Indeed France is crisscrossed by very popular grand randonnées and long sections of the caminhos that thousands of pilgrims hike each year to reach Santiago de Compostela in Galicia (northwestern Spain). Official figures show some 18 million of the French go trekking across the country each year in organised trips or solo hikes and this website offers a comprehensive list of the highly popular Grandes Randonnées (Long Distance Footpaths).
According to Aneta Rouskovska, a media spokesman for the International Sport and Culture Association: ISCA and its local partners across Europe will stage the first European No Elevators Day on 5 June 2015 sealing off lifts and escalators in a number of residential, business and public buildings.
“The aim is to make people reconsider the value of physical activity and to take the opportunity of moving more and being more active”, she told French News Online by telephone.
ISCA’s partners in Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey have joined the initiative. The event is also open to other organisations and individuals to join by volunteering to close lifts and/or escalators on their premises.
Anyone wanting to participate can register here.
No Elevators Day is part of ISCA’s ongoing NowWeMOVE campaign promoting grassroots sport and physical activity and supported by the European Week of Sport – #BeActive (The latter is the Twitter hashtag for social media activists).
According to the NowWeMOVE website: “Two thirds of Europe’s adult population do not meet the levels of physical activity recommended for their health and wellbeing (WHO Europe, 2008). For this reason ISCA launched the NowWeMOVE campaign in 2012, aiming to raise participation in sports tackle the physical inactivity epidemic across Europe”.
Story: Ken Pottinger