The DSS is one of only three Collaborating Centres (WHO CCs) that are entirely dedicated to the topic of physical activity. The WHO Regional Office for Europe first designated the DSS as a Collaborating Centre in 2014 and renewed the designation for another four years in 2018 and in 2022.
The purpose of the Collaborating Centre at the DSS is to support the WHO Regional Office for Europe and WHO Headquarters in conducting research on physical activity, preparing scientific publications and reports for policy and practice, conducting international seminars to build capacities for physical activity promotion, and conducting country missions to support advise national governments on physical activity policy.
Mission and work plan
The mission of the Collaborating Centre at the DSS is to support WHO in its endeavor to inspire and enable more people to be physically active. Support activities specifically include but are not limited to
- conducting research on physical activity
- preparing scientific publications and reports for policy and practice
- conducting international seminars to build capacities for physical activity promotion
- and conducting country missions to support advise national governments on physical activity policy
The current workplan of the Centre (2022-2026) includes the following thematic areas:
- Assist WHO to support and collaborate with countries in the area of physical activity policy development and implementation.
- Supporting the tracking of progress in developing and implementing policies for physical activity promotion (physical activity policy monitoring)
- Supporting the collection and analysis of European and global physical activity surveillance data
- Supporting to align physical activity promotion to global challenges (climate change, planetary health)
- Support specific physical activity promotion measures for people with non-communicable diseases
The core team at the Centre consists of researchers representing a variety of different backgrounds with expertise in epidemiology, sport science, and psychology, sociology and political science. Staff members’ research interests cover a broad range of fields, including physical activity surveillance, physical activity in children and in people with chronic conditions, as well as health policy and policy monitoring.
The Centre is led by two co-directors and supported by a team of senior researchers from the Division of Physical Activity and Health at the Department of Sport Science and Sport at FAU. In addition to its permanent members, the Centre also relies on the specific expertise of additional DSS researchers for select activities.