Healthy with sports - LIH joins HEPA Europe, the European network for the promotion of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity
It is proven that physical activity has as a therapeutic effect on certain diseases, such as cancer or cardiovascular disorders, but these benefits are not known well among the general population yet. To create awareness, LIH launched the project “Sport-Santé” in 2015 and now became member of the European network for the promotion of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA).
Following a round table in 2012 bringing together the main actors of the sports sector in Luxembourg, the Oeuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte”, which finances philanthropic projects, was keen to support the field of therapeutic sports. It gave LIH’s Sports Medicine Research Laboratory (Department of Population Health) the mission to carry out the project “Sport-Santé”. This project aims to promote physical activity as a therapeutic adjuvant and to increase and sustain the offer of therapeutic sports in Luxembourg.
Many more patients could benefit from the high-quality course offer if they knew about it. ‘We work on various strategies to promote health-enhancing sports, for example on the development of training for health professionals who play a key role in advising their patients’, tells project leader Dr Alexis Lion. ‘Joining the HEPA Europe network is now a further step’, he says.
On 30th September 2016, LIH became the first Luxembourg institution to join HEPA Europe. This network works for better health through physical activity by strengthening efforts to increase participation and improve the conditions for healthy lifestyles. It shares innovative population-based approaches to promote therapeutic sports and disseminates strategies, programs and best practices as well as the latest research findings in the field. Supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it currently includes 158 institutions and organisations from 36 European countries.
‘We expect a lot from our new membership to the HEPA Europe network’, points out Dr Lion. LIH with its project “Sport-Santé” hopes to benefit from the experience of its European neighbours and have an active role in the development of recommendations to be submitted to the European Commission and the WHO Regional Office of Europe.