Mexico City Is Trading Metro Cards For Squats

Jan 28, 2015 at 7:34 AM ET

Mexico City’s Ministry of Public Health has come up with a novel way to help curb the nation’s rising obesity levels—by offering residents free metro tickets if they’re willing to drop and do squats on the spot.

Starting next month, 30 “health stations” will be in operation throughout the capital’s 15 busiest subway stations, where commuters can get one free ride by performing 10 squats. They’ll also find out the number of calories they burned.

The first 80,000 people to accept the challenge will also receive a free pedometer.

Aimed at the 4.6 million-plus people who use the network each day, the program is Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera’s attempt to halt the growing rate of obesity in Mexico. A report by the United Nations in 2013 revealed that 32.8 percent of adult Mexicans were obese, surpassing the U.S.

“Levels of excess weight and obesity concern us greatly,” Health Secretary Jose Armando Ahued Ortega announced during the initiative’s unveiling. “For me, it’s the number one public health problem.”

H/T Fusion, ABC.