Sneaker Day campaign dubbed a success – This Wednesday, corporate Saint Lucia ditched conventional hard-soled shoes for athletic footwear, as part of the observance of  Sneaker Day.

An initiative of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC), Sneaker Day was devised to promote physical activity around the work place and raise awareness of lifestyle diseases.

“We have seen an increase in non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and coronary illnesses, and the NIC feels that it has a responsibility to reduce the incidences of non-communicable diseases,” NIC Communications Officer MacNaughton McLean said. “So we launched this campaign which is geared primarily at workers, and of course the concept is that they wear their normal work attire with sneakers. It places the idea that if you are wearing more comfortable shoes, you will walk a little more and maybe you will make the lifestyle changes which we expect will bring about a reduction in the instances of non-communicable diseases.”

Organizers of the event were thrilled at the level of participation.

“It has been overwhelming. If you go on social media – Facebook, Instagram – you will see that people have really taken to the concept. They are taking selfies and posting #758sneakerday and it really is fantastic. We have received calls from a number of organizations saying that they are a part of it and the hope is that, quite apart from participating in the activity today, the message will resonate with Saint Lucian public and they will now start to incorporate into their work day a little more physical activity.”

The NIC intends to hold Sneaker Day annually.