The Health Ministry donated 500 bicycles to students in the western province of İzmir as part of its "Turkey Healthy Living and Moving Life" program. Recent studies show that physical activity has not yet become a staple in the lifestyle of Turkish people. İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak said, "It is essential to encourage regular physical exercise and to live an active life from the childhood years," stressing that technological advancement hinders living a healthy life. İzmir Public Health Directorate President Bediha Türkyılmaz said they are working to increase the number of people living a more active life. As part of their efforts, distributing bicycles to students is part of the initiative, she stated. In May, 366 bicycles and helmets were distributed in 25 schools after protocol was issued between the Provincial Directorate of National Education and the İzmir High Technology Institute (İYTE). More than 470 secondary school students and 30 İYTE students whose families have financial difficulties will be offered bicycles in the upcoming days, too. Cycling helps students escape from an inactive lifestyle. "Now, people walk less, use cars to go short distances and shop online," Toprak said. She notes that cycling, walking, playing, gardening and different types of sports are all necessary for a healthy life and the overall well-being of people.