HEPA-Framework - learning more

The HEPA-Handbook with the complete collection of the HEPA-Toolbox was presented on the "Fit for Life" conference in Stuttgart, March 19th 2014.

Download your HEPA-Handbook (pdf, 5 MB)

The network Cities for Sports

connects European cities and local organisations in terms of promoting physical activity for senior citizens.

Partner cities of "Fit for Life Europe" are Limoges, Rotterdam, Bologna, Extremadura, Warsaw und Stuttgart.

What physical activity can do for the ageing society in Europe

The percentage of older citizens in Europe’s population is continually increasingly. The number of people over 65 will increase from today’s 17 % to 24 % in 2030 (EUROSTAT, 2011). Physical activity decreases with age (Special Eurobarometer, 2010). The EU member states and their municipalities bear the responsibility of facing this challenge and acting proactively. In the course of the anticipated ‘explosion’ of health costs the realisation of the primary prevention potential would seem essential. Maintaining the physical and mental independence of the elderly as long as possible and ensuring their social participation and quality of life must be the focus of the local stakeholders. The promotion of physical activity among elderly and health-oriented exercise will become a key issue in our ageing society.

The general aim of Cities for Sports is to encourage physical activity and an active lifestyle among the older members of our communities.
Background is to tap the potential of health-effective exercise with a view to preventing or reducing age-related chronic illnesses, also with regards to earning capacity, to maintaining a certain quality of life, avoiding overweight among the elderly and averting social isolation and depression. Regular physical activity has an impact on everyday motor skills and functional capacity and can thus contribute to ensuring independence at an advanced age. Furthermore, exercise helps maintain cognitive skills and ensures participation in society as a whole. The social dimension of the programme of activities has the effect that the participants regularly attend the courses and it often plays a decisive role in groups that have been in existence for many years. Activity and group experience strengthens self-concept, locus of control and self-efficacy, which in turn all have a positive impact on the participation of elderly in society. And last, but not least, regular physical activity plays an important role in avoiding falls.

HEPA for Elderly

Promotion of physical activity among senior citizens is one Focal point of “Cities for Sports“ – there is a great interest in all cities, however, hardly any experience available. The following questions should be answered in the exchange with the others:

How can exercise among senior citizens be realistically encouraged?

How can the target group – senior citizens – be reached and activated?