Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA)

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The evidence for the benefits of physical activity for health has been available since the 1950s. There is now wide agreement on principles established by the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for physical activity to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and depression: “Adults aged 18–64 years should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week.”

The current low level of activity among EU citizens remains very worrying. According to the Special Eurobarometer on Sport and Physical Activity, 54% of all respondents did not do any vigorous activity and 44% did not do any moderate physical activity. Moreover, 13% of EU citizens did not walk for at least 10 minutes at a time on a given day within a week.

With the aim get more people, more active, more often, EuropeActive is working on a daily basis in the promotion of active and healthy lifestyles, through a focus on physical activity and fitness. We are highly contributed to the work development done by several institutions and expert groups, in the European Commission (DG SANTE, DG EAC, DG CONNECT), as well as through regular contact with the World Health Organisation-Europe.

The publication of the 2018 Special Eurobarometer Report (together with 28 country factsheets) on Sport and Physical Activity shows a disappointing, but small decline in overall levels of physical activity when compared to the 2014 Report. In the new Eurobarometer Report fitness remains the largest participation sport across the EU28.

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