HEPA Europe’s contributions to healthy living and move for health in the European Region
Bulletin of the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education (ICSSPE/CIEPSS), no 49, January 2007: Physical activity is a fundamental means of improving people’s physical and mental health and it is now clearly recognised as one of the leading risk factors for a number of non-communicable diseases and conditions. HEPA Europe, the European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity, was founded in May 2005 to provide a platform for sharing developments and facilitating the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based policies and strategies. Its first projects include contributions to advocacy booklets on physical activity and health and on physical activity in urban environments, respectively; and the development of a web-based inventory of existing policy instruments which will be described in more detail in this article. HEPA Europe’s activities are aimed at contributing to the promotion of healthy lifestyles and conditions favourable to physical activity by making the main facts, good examples, tools for action and existing experiences more easily available. This is meant to act as an additional stimulus for countries to undertake policy developments in physical activity promotion and healthy living.