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Developing Sustainable Partnership to Translate Knowledge into Practice for Active Living
Sai Kung District, Hong Kong SAR, China
A recent survey revealed Hong Kong people were well aware of their responsibility to maintain good health like doing regular physical exercise but they simply did not put knowledge into practice. Commonly quoted excuses include busyness, not knowing how to start, no partners etc. The strategy is to aim at de-mystifying these excuses and facilitating local people to gradually incorporate physical activity into daily life. As such, they decided that sustainable efforts should be made to provide local people with not only the knowledge of health benefits of active living, but also the skills to undertake behaviour change and a supportive environment to sustain regular physical activity. Solid partnership infrastructure built over the last few years under their first “Healthy City” initiative in Hong Kong enables them to adopt a staged approach for sustainable partnership with various stakeholders in the community to translate local people’s knowledge into practice for more active living.
1. Start Simple - “Walk 10,000 Steps for Health” ( July - December 2004)
Sai Kung district is unique that it comprises of the rural Sai Kung, renowned as the “leisure garden” of Hong Kong, and the rapidly developing urban Tseung Kwan O. While the former attracts people to walk for leisure purpose, the latter with safe and comfortable pedestrian facilities leading to local destinations represents opportunities of physical activity as daily transport.
Sai Kung Healthy City collaborated with their community partners to launch the “Walk 10,000 Steps for Health” campaign covering behavioural, educational and environmental interventions. Major highlight was the “10,000 persons to walk 10,000 steps for health” award scheme. Each of the 9,500 local people recruited from more than 80 settings was given a pedometer (not just a measurement tool but also a motivator) and a record book to record the number of steps walked daily for six months. To maintain people’s momentum to walk more and capture the opportunity to know more about the community, a few reinforcement programs such as guided walking tours, “Walk more and know more” Quiz, photographic competition were also organised. Posters displayed at the local MTR (underground) stations, mural wall and banners with number of steps indicated for walking routes linking various popular local destinations and signage erected along the hiking trail, altogether helped to raise public awareness on the incorporation of walking into daily life.
2. Peer Support to Sustain – “One Person One Activity”
    ( October 2005 – January 2006)

Research showed the importance of social support for adults to maintain physical activity. Building on the above successful experience, the district-wide “One Person One Activity” campaign aimed to encourage people to sustain a habit of physical activity through peer support. It included the publication of sports handbooks, award scheme, physical activity groups, basketball competition and a “sports showground”. About 2,500 local people were formed into more than 150 groups who represent invaluable resources in partnership for further building a physically active community. Outstanding groups who accumulated the highest number of exercise hours were awarded at the closing ceremony.
3. Doctors Said No More Excuse – “Move for Health”
    (September 2006 – February 2007)

Despite the encouraging number of participants who showed positive outcome in improvement or maintenance of physical activity, there are still a significant portion of adults who are reluctant to start off. This time, physicians are involved to encourage their patients to take up this habit for health reasons during the consultations. Information leaflets on the exercise classes and groups in the locality will also be given to them through the doctors so that no more excuses should be made. Meanwhile, more local partners and resources are continuously identified and added into their partnership infrastructure for jointly creating an environment supportive to active living in the long run.
This report was awarded for Award for Good Practices of Healthy Cities by the Alliance for Healthy Cities in October 2006 for their practice on partnership for encouraging active life and sound evaluation at baseline and followup.
For more information, please contact: Ms. Esther MOK, Executive Manager (Healthy City), Haven of Hope Christian Service. Email:; Tel: (852) 2623-5517; Fax: (852) 2706-5072; Address: Units 330-335, Hong Lam House, Tsui Lam Estate, Tseung Kwan O, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
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  “Walk 10,000 Steps for Health”  
Kick-off of “Walk 10,000 Steps for Health”   Pedometer and personal walking record book
Sai Kung Walking Guide   Step indication banner   Mural wall painting with step indication
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  “One Person One Activity”  
Employees of Calbee doing pre-work stretching exercises together at the workplace   Families enjoying fitball exercise at the “sports showground”   One of the sports group performing tai-chi fan dance at the closing ceremony
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  Baseline and followup evaluation of status of active living  
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  Outcome Evaluation of “One Person One Activity” campaign  

Positive shift toward stage 5 recorded after joining “One Person One Activity”.
Stages of change:
1.   I do not do any physical activity of medium intensity at the moment and would not consider starting it in the next 6 months.
2.   I do not do any physical activity of medium intensity at the moment but am considering starting it in the next 6 months.
3.   I plan to start to do physical activity of medium intensity soon (within one month).
4.   I am doing physical activity of medium intensity at the moment but started it less than 6 months ago.
5.   I am doing physical activity of medium intensity at the moment and have kept doing this for more than 6 months.

Positive shift toward smaller amount of monthly medical expenses recorded after joining
“One Person One Activity”.
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