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Professor Ignacio Ara, along with other academics, participate in the meeting of HEPA in Toledo
UCLM hosts a meeting of the EU and WHO on promoting healthy lifestyles in Toledo
UCLM hosts a meeting of the EU and WHO on promoting healthy lifestyles in Toledo
The University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) hosted the biannual meeting of coordinators of the program to promote physical activity HEPA (Health Enhancing Physical Activity) on the Campus of Toledo, developed by the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Several spanish experts participated in the initiative, which was coordinated by the National Sports Council of Spain, including professor Ignacio Ara (GENUD Toledo Research Group, at UCLM), professor Jonatan Ruiz (University of Granada), and professor Pablo Fernández-Navarro (Institute of Health Carlos III, ISCIII), among others.

Last 20 and 21 of april, the Science-Technology Campus in Toledo (building Fábrica de Armas) gathered representatives of the EU Physical Activity Focal Point Network, where 22 member states were represented, both of the European Commission and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to address issues related to future policies that will be carried out in order to improve health through physical activity, within the physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016–2025.

Many authorities took part in the inauguration of this event: the vice-chancellor for Internationalization and Lifelong Learning, Fátima Guadamillas; head of Sport Unit, directorate general for Education and Culture of the European Commission, Olivier Fontaine; the programme manager Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at WHO regional office for Europe, João Breda; and the  president of the CSD (Consejo Superior de Deportes, National Sports Council), who asserted: "it is an obligation for public authorities to develop policies to promote sports and physical activity beneficial to the health of society, on an equal basis, and with maximum effectiveness and efficiency."

The HEPA program

The HEPA program (Health Enhancing Physical Activity) was launched within the EU to respond to the alarming number of people who did not practice enough physical activity and try to alleviate the enormous impact of this situation on the health of the population and economic costs of the member states. Every six months, coordinators or Focal Points in each of the 28 member states gather to analyse the implementation of the program and monitoring.

The sixth meeting, held in Spain and for the first time, in Castilla-La Mancha, has addressed the issue of creating a timetable for the collection of updated data and validation procedures, and boost the support of governments and other institutions responsible for activities promoting physical activity.

The attendees had the opportunity to visit the historic center of Toledo by sightseeing one of the Healthy Heritage routes driven by the PAFS-UCLM Research Group (Promoción de Actividad Física para Salud, Promotion of Physical Activity for Health), through the Department of Physical Education and Sports, and the Consortium in Toledo. Additionally, they put together various scientific papers and reveal the activities in our country to promote physical activity within the framework of The Integral Plan for Physical Activity and Sports.

Office of Communications UCLM, Toledo, april 25, 2017

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