Brussels, 15 March 2022
ENOS, EuropeActive, FESI and It’s Great Out There Coalition are happy to announce the launch of the “European Physical Activity Alliance” (EPAA), a new coalition that will promote the benefits of health-enhancing physical activity, on physical, social, and mental health and wellbeing. EPAA was launched during an online event gathering more than 200 participants, with outstanding presentations from high-level representatives of the European institutions and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The scientific evidence underpinning the fact that physical activity is good for people’s social, mental and physical health is overwhelming. Yet, physical activity levels keep declining in Europe. It is also well-known that prevention is better than cure, however, only 3% of health budgets in the EU are dedicated to disease prevention. An increased focus on and funding for health promotion, disease prevention, and the promotion of physical activity is long overdue and essential to keep health budgets manageable. In fact, this is the most sustainable way to effectively tackle non-communicable diseases, which are often preventable, and yet responsible for 80% of all deaths in Europe, according to WHO Europe.
That’s against this backdrop that four leading European Associations – ENOS, EuropeActive, FESI and It’s Great Out There Coalition – have decided to join forces and create the European Physical Activity Alliance. After two years of a worldwide pandemic, which greatly impacted the physical activity levels, while also highlighting the many benefits of exercise for physical and mental wellbeing, the need for cross-sectoral action is now more crucial than ever to ensure that no one is left behind. Based on their long-standing experience in the promotion of sport and physical activity, the EPAA partners are committed to doing more and will actively reach out across sectors to build new partnerships and promote physical activity.
According to FESI Secretary General, Jérôme Pero “We all know how important physical activity is for our health and well-being. Yet figures show that physical activity continues to decline in Europe. While FESI and its members have long been engaged in promoting healthy lifestyles through physical activity, the time has come to scale up these efforts. By creating the European Physical Activity Alliance, our common ambition is to work together with policy makers and stakeholders from the health and other sectors to achieve this ultimate goal: get more people physically active in Europe”
“We believe physical activity should play a central role across different policy fields including health and environmental policy. The European Physical Activity Alliance, co-founded by the It’s Great Out There Coalition, aims to inspire dialogue and collaboration to this end”, declared Andrew Denton, Secretary-General of the It’s Great Out There Coalition.
“While the world responds to the latest health issue, it is perhaps timely that we think broadly about human and planetary health and wellbeing. In Europe, there is a call for a different future, one that prioritises wellbeing. From a human perspective, health involves more than managing disease: it includes the potential for optimum wellbeing and flourishing. We believe that sports and outdoor sports in particular are a key way to engage people with health Enhancing Physical activity”, commented Mike McClure, ENOS Chairman.
“It is now well established that regular exercise helps to prevent many non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer. This is why we, at EuropeActive, want to encourage all European citizens to be more active, more often. By joining forces with other organisations, The European Physical Activity Alliance will develop strong policy partnerships and collaboration with other policy areas to increase the levels of physical activity in Europe”, concluded Andreas Paulsen, EuropeActive Executive Director
About EPAA: The European Physical Activity Alliance brings together leading European Associations working on physical activity promotion. Physical activity promotion has an enormous untapped potential in terms of health promotion and disease prevention. To reach its full potential there’s a need to collaborate and build partnership across sectors. The European Physical Activity Alliance’s purpose is exactly that: reaching out to and starting a dialogue with stakeholders from the health and other sectors and collaborate on the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity.