HEPA Europe (European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity)

HEPA Europe is a network which works for better health through physical activity among all people in the WHO European Region, by strengthening and supporting efforts to increase participation and improve the conditions for healthy lifestyles.

WHO/Europe closely collaborates with the network, consistently with the goals of its programme on transport and health that include the promotion of physical activity as a healthy means for sustainable transport.

Objectives

  • Promote a better understanding of health-enhancing physical activity and give a stronger voice to physical activity promotion in health policy and in other relevant sectors in Europe, including support for workforce development
  • Develop, support, and disseminate effective strategies and multi-sectoral approaches in the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity
  • Foster the preservation and creation of social and physical environments as well as values and lifestyles supportive of health-enhancing physical activity
  • Together with other relevant institutions and organizations, improve coordination in physical activity promotion across sectors and administrative structures.

Guiding principles

  • Focus on population-based approaches for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity using the best available scientific evidence
  • Emphasis on the importance of monitoring and evaluation; encouragement of the development of standardized measurement methods and systematic research
  • Encouragement of the ongoing exchange, dissemination and sharing of experience and knowledge
  • Support of cooperation, partnerships and collaboration with other related sectors, networks, and approaches.

All activities of HEPA Europe are based on WHO policy statements, such as the Global Strategy for Diet, Physical Activity and Health, the European Charter on Counteracting Obesity, the NCD Action Plan and on corresponding documents from the European Commission.