Sixth Meeting of the European Union Physical Activity Focal Points Network

The European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity convened for its sixth meeting in Toledo, Spain, on the 20–21 April 2017. Participants included representatives from the WHO Regional Office for Europe; the Sport Unit of the Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC), representing the European Commission; and the national physical activity focal points representing 22 Member States of the WHO European Region, as well as a group of relevant experts.

The meeting was opened by the President of the Spanish Superior Council of Sports, José Ramón Lete; the Vice-Rector of Teaching and International Relations of the University of Castilla-La Mancha, Professor Fátima Guadamilas Gómez; the representative of the European Commission DG EAC/Sport Unit, Dr Olivier Fontaine; and the Head of the WHO European Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases and Programme Manager for Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Dr João Breda.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a timeline for data collection on health enhancing physical activity (HEPA), and to determining appropriate validation procedures. Discussions also focused on the development and progress of the monitoring and surveillance of HEPA in the European Union, with a view to improving evidence-informed policy-making. The meeting also aimed to start preparations for the revision of the country factsheets on physical activity in order to update the WHO regional database with indicators on nutrition, obesity and physical activity, based on the most recent data. An excellent exchange of experiences and knowledge took place through a poster session and focal point updates on national best practices and success stories for the promotion of physical activity.

This meeting and the ongoing collaboration between the Regional Office and HEPA Europe contribute towards achieving the global target on noncommunicable disease of reducing the prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 10% and Sustainable Development Goal 3 on ensuring good health and well-being for all.