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IPH Lifestyle Medicine Week a hit online

The annual Lifestyle Medicine Week of the Institute for Population Health at WCM-Q drew records numbers this year as it went fully online due to the pandemic.
The annual Lifestyle Medicine Week of the Institute for Population Health at WCM-Q drew records numbers this year as it went fully online due to the pandemic.

Record numbers of participants took part in this year’s edition of Lifestyle Medicine Week, an annual initiative by the Institute for Population Health (IPH) at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q).

Taking place entirely online for the first time since its launch in 2018, the weeklong series of events drew participants from all over Qatar and beyond to take part in a healthy cooking competition, learn stress management techniques, connect with others through an online trivia quiz, and join in with live physical activity sessions.

Lifestyle Medicine Week is the centerpiece event of a series of initiatives run by the IPH throughout the year, all of which are designed to empower people to adopt healthy lifestyle habits in order to promote wellbeing and prevent or help control non-communicable diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure) and many others.

Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, Vice Dean for Student Affairs-Admissions, Population Health, and Lifestyle Medicine at WCM-Q, said: “We are truly amazed at the number of people who took part in this year’s Lifestyle Medicine Week, with people showing great enthusiasm to learn the best ways to look after their own health and that of their family members. Research shows that following simple habits like taking regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, avoiding tobacco and other risky substances, and managing stress are incredibly powerful tools for maintaining good health.”.

All of the initiatives coordinated by the IPH team follow the latest evidence-based research to optimize their effectiveness. The team also conducts its own research, offers certificate courses in lifestyle medicine for healthcare professionals, and runs community outreach programs with local schools and businesses to raise awareness of a wide variety of health issues, from road safety to nutrition.

Given the need to follow physical distancing protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Lifestyle Medicine Week had a special focus on the importance of social connectedness for maintaining good mental health.

Dr. Sohaila Cheema, Assistant Dean for Institute for Population Health/Assistant Professor of Population Health Sciences, said: “Lifestyle Medicine Week emphasizes the importance of viewing and pursuing health in a holistic manner and social connectedness is a key element of this approach. When we are socially connected, we feel happier and far more motivated to follow healthy lifestyle habits, and by giving and receiving moral support we can boost our self-esteem and mental health. The IPH team strongly encourages everyone to make the best use of online communications platforms to stay connected with family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic.”