October 3, 2017
TOKYO- The Japan Sports Agency will encourage people to wear sneakers to work as part of a new project aimed at promoting exercise among the working population in their 20s to 40s.
Under the project, starting next March, the agency plans to work together with businesses and local governments to encourage people to walk 8,000 steps a day.
"Sport is not just about heavy exercise," Daichi Suzuki, commissioner of the agency, told a press conference on Monday as he unveiled the project, sporting white sneakers.
"I would like people to start with something simple and easy to do," said Suzuki, the 100-meter backstroke gold medalist in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
The agency hopes that the project will trigger a nationwide movement, following in the footsteps of the government-led "Cool Biz" campaign, which encourages workers to dress lightly during summer to save electricity and tackle global warming.
It aims to raise the proportion of adults who engage in sport activity at least once a week to around 65 pct in fiscal 2021 from 42.5 percent in fiscal 2016.
Given that the proportion is particularly low at around 30 percent for working people in their 20s to 40s, the agency plans to encourage them to take up walking as it can be done easily even by people who are busy with work.
The project will also help reduce medical costs, agency officials said. Jiji Press
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