Evidence-based physical activity promotion - HEPA Europe, the European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity



Journal of Public Health, 2006, Volume 14, Number 2. The original publication is available at http://springerlink.com (DOI: 10.1007/s10389-006-0029-5) Springer

There has been a world-wide increase in scientific interest in health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA). The importance of a physically active lifestyle has now been well established both on the individual and on the population level. At the same time, physical inactivity has become a global problem. While sports for all has a long history, only a few examples of long-term integrated physical activity promotion strategies have been in place in Europe until recently. A number of countries have now begun to develop their own activities. However, there has been a noticeable lack of a platform for sharing the development and implementation of evidence-based policies and strategies. In order to fill this gap, HEPA Europe, the European Network for the Promotion of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity, was founded in May 2005. The goal of the network is to strengthen and support efforts and actions that increase participation in physical activity and improve the conditions favourable to a healthy lifestyle, in particular with respect to HEPA. The Network is working closely with WHO/Europe.