By Mercy Omoike and Olarenwaju Akojede
Mr Oluwatoyin Gafar, Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission, has called on journalists to always engage in physical exercise in order to be fit to perform their duties.
Gafar gave the charge in his address to journalists at the kickoff of the 2023 Press Week Health Walk of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Chapel, on Monday in Lagos.
According to him, good health and general fitness is necessary for them to cope with the strenuous job of news reporting.
He said, “The importance of the media in any society cannot be overemphasised. However, if you are not fit, you cannot report accurately or do your job well.
“And part of our responsibility at the commission is to create a culture in which everyone is medically, mentally and physically fit to do their jobs. Journalists engage in energy sapping events and need to be fit to do their jobs.
“You need to be fit and part of what you are doing today is to see the extent of your fitness and also, as they say, when you are healthy, you are wealthy. When you are fit you will not spend unnecessarily on drugs.”
Mr Kayode Olaitan, NAN Head of Lagos Operations, in his speech, stressed the importance of good health for journalists.
“We are very grateful to all the agencies here present and for joining us to make today’s Health Walk a great day. NAN deals with news and news as our business requires a lot of energy.
“This is why the management has factored in the presence of health providers here to attend to the health challenges of staff.
“We recognise the importance of the Health Walk and we know that without health, we cannot do our job,” Olaitan said.
On her part, Mrs Oluwadamilola Ajiginni of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), lauded participants at the event and encouraged them to always engage in fitness exercises.
“We are glad to be part of the NAN NUJ Health Walk. Walking is very good for the health and should be encouraged.
“Today we were able to achieve a 4 kilometer walk all the way from the Teslim Balogun Stadium to the National Theatre Complex at Iganmu.
“That is very laudable and should be done more often,” Ajiginni said.
On their part, Mr Yusuf Yunus, Chairman, NUJ NAN Chapel Lagos and Mrs Vivian Ihechu, Chairperson, NUJ NAN Lagos Chapel, Local Organising Committee (LOC), affirmed that exercising regularly could help to boost productivity of journalists.
According to them, exercise is part of psychosocial self-care.
“Physical exercise has been proven to have significant health benefits for hearts, bodies and minds.
“It contributes to preventing and managing noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes.
“It helps reduce triggers of depression and anxiety and improves overall well being.
“Journalists go through and see a lot while discharging their duties . Often times, they do not take out time to evaluate themselves or even rest.
“With time, quite a number of them develop some terminal or life threatening ailments while some even die suddenly.Some of these may have been averted through regular keeping fit.
“It is important that while we are “watching” our society, we should also watch ourselves.
“While most of us may be guilty of not observing everyday psychosocial self-care, today’s walk creates an opportunity for us to exercise and be fit,” Ihechu said.
NAN reports that the Health Walk had in attendance officials of NEMA and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
The NAN NUJ 2023 Press week with the theme: ‘Say No to Drug Abuse,’ is meant to discourage the use of hard drugs in the society. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Mark Longyen/Salif Atojoko