New publications in EJPH special issue for the HEPA Europe Conference 2022

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Researchers from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Physical Activity and Public Health have published two scientific articles in the European Journal of Public Health. The articles were written in collaboration with staff of the WHO Regional Office for Europe and appear in the journal’s special issue for the HEPA Europe Conference 2022.  

The first article is based on an evaluation of the EU Physical Activity Focal Points Network. Founded in 2014, this network is composed of 27 focal points officially appointed by EU member state governments and tasked with the promotion of physical activity (PA). The network’s main task is to collect country-specific data for the regular monitoring of PA policies by the European Commission and WHO Europe. Network members usually meets twice a year to share best practices and plan activities for the promotion of PA within the EU. The evaluation showed that participation in the network helped members specify goals for PA promotion, gain more knowledge regarding how to promote PA, identify more opportunities to promote PA in their country and engage in collaborations with other countries.

The second article describes a newly developed checklist for climate-friendly sports and exercise programs. The checklist is based on the United Nation’s Sport for Climate Action Framework and intends to support its implementation at the local level. The checklist consists of five dimensions that need to be considered when designing and implementing a climate-friendly sport and exercise program: (I) options for active transport to and from the program venue, (II) the carbon footprint of different types of exercises, (III) options for low-carbon sport clothing and equipment, (IV) the potential of instructors to act as champions for climate action and (V) the role of advertising and communication. The checklist can support the sports sector in reducing its climate impact; however, intersectoral action is needed to improve transport infrastructures and the sustainability of sport facilities.


Antonina Tcymbal, Peter Gelius, Karim Abu-Omar, Sven Messing, Stephen Whiting & Kremlin Wickramasinghe (2022). Cross-country collaboration for physical activity promotion: experiences from the European Union Physical Activity Focal Points Network, European Journal of Public Health 32 (Supplement 1), i14–i21, 


Karim Abu-Omar, Sven Messing, Antonina Tcymbal, Tobias Fleuren, Diana Richardson, Stephen Whiting, Peter Gelius & Kremlin Wickramasinghe (2022). A proposed checklist for climate-friendly sport and exercise programmes, European Journal of Public Health 32 (Supplement 1), i44–i49,