Fighting (Physical) Inactivity (3 important conference dates!): Committee of the European College of Sports and Exercise Physicians

By Dr Amir Pakravan

Physical inactivity is the fourth risk factor for mortality in the world and responsible for 6% of deaths globally.

globe_diversityHealthcare costs of physical inactivity are immense. Inactive adults spend up to 38% more days in hospital and it is estimated that physical inactivity is the main cause for up to 25% of colon and breast cancer burden, 27% of diabetes burden, and 30% of Ischaemic Heart Disease burden.

There are very well documented health benefits of physical activity in prevention and effective management of more than 20 different specific  medical conditions.

The fighting Inactivity Committee (FIC) of the European College of Sports and Exercise Physicians (ECOSEP) has the mission of promoting physical activity across Europe at the population level and among healthcare professionals.

We believe physical activity is most effective when incorporated into daily life. We have the long term aim to promote, support, and contribute to relevant research, guidelines, and policies across Europe by proactive involvement with such activities and acting as a European hub for information exchange.

ECOSEP-FIC recently achieved Observer Membership of the WHO European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA Europe) which in addition to significantly raising the FIC status, would enable ECOSEP to officially associate with HEPA Europe and participate in its annual meetings and other activities.

The FIC Chair will be representing ECOSEP in the HEPA Europe 2014 Conference in August in Zurich where he will also present on a study of Exercise Referral Schemes delivery in Suffolk, England.

ECOSEP-FIC is proactively looking for educational opportunities where it can help promote the role of physical activity in healthcare.

“Wales Exercise Medicine Symposium,” September 2014 in Swansea is a high profile event endorsed by ECOSEP and organised by FIC member, Dr Bryn Savill. The event follows on the success of the first Symposium in 2013, and aims to display the best talent in the “Exercise is Medicine” field in Europe. This will be of interest to a large contingent of sport and exercise, and healthcare professionals.

The “PRACTICE SEM Conference” in October 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal, is another high profile event endorsed by ECOSEP and organised by Dr Jorge A Ruivo, also a member of FIC, which aims to promote discussion around therapeutic effects of physical activity, exercise, and sport on a wide range of public health issues. This year will focus on the latest trends in innovative training methodologies and physical activity interventions applied to patients with or at risk of chronic disease.

The “2014 ECOSEP Sport and Exercise Medicine Student Congress” in association with Queen Mary, University of London, in November also includes dedicated sessions on the role of Exercise Medicine component of SEM practice.

For further information about these and other ECOSEP-FIC activities please visit the relevant websites below.

FIC welcomes ideas and collaboration proposals from sport and exercise advocates, interested health professionals, and academics. To further support and expand our range of activities, we invite sponsorship offers that fit with the ECOSEP mandate.

References and weblinks:

1) Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health. World Health Organization 2010

2) 10 Facts on Physical Activity. World Health Organization website accessed Jul 2014.

3) Lee IM, Shiroma EJ, Lobelo F, et al; Lancet Physical Activity Series Working Group. Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. Lancet. 2012 Jul 21;380(9838):219-29.

4) ECOSEP website accessed Aug 2014.

5) WHO-HEPA Europe website accessed Aug 2014.

6) University of Zurich, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine – HEPA Europe 2014. Website accessed Aug 2014.

7) Eventbrite, Wales Exercise Medicine Symposium. Website accessed Aug 2014.

8) PRACTICE website accessed Aug 2014.


Dr Amir Pakravan is a Sport and Exercise Physician and the Chair of ECOSEP Fighting Inactivity Committee.   

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