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Exercise for Health Summit draws global experts together in Madrid

The Exercise for Health Summit has taken place today in Madrid – the event continues tomorrow
Delegates heard from speakers from the Harvard School of Medicine, the World Health Organization and numerous universities, among others
The overall purpose of the event is to explore ways that medicine, health care and physical activity can intersect to improve health outcomes
The event is organised by EuropeActive
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The Exercise for Health Summit (EfHS), organised by EuropeActive, kicked off today at the Melia Castille in Madrid, with the timing designed to coincide with the Spanish Presidency of the European Council, in the second half of 2023

The two-day event has been designed to explore the opportunities for promoting health-enhancing physical activity and its impact on communities and individuals.

Today’s speakers included I-Min Lee – professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School – whose primary area of interest is the role of physical activity in preventing chronic diseases and enhancing longevity.

Lee presented detailed evidence of how exercise positively all these outcomes.

Juana Willumsen from the World Health Organization (WHO), updated delegates on progress against the 2022 WHO Global Status Report on Physical Activity. She examined the the inactivity challenge from a policy perspectives and proposed ways in which the industry can collaborate at both global and local level to drive change and resolve current challenges.

Professor Rob Copeland from the University of Sheffield, UK demonstrated the powerful benefits of co-locating physical activity, health and social services. He explained highly effective systems change work that’s been developed in Sheffield via a community programme called Move More, presenting evidence to show how this ‘system wide’ approach is producing powerful results.

Ricardo Mora-Rodríguez, from the Exercise Physiology Lab at Toledo, University of Castilla-La Mancha, explored the interaction between medication and exercise, giving insight into how they can be optimised, while Dr Enrique Artero, presented groundbreaking findings from a EFIBAR trial on exercise following bariatric surgery.

Epidemiologist Dr Melody Ding from the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney was the last speaker of the day and looked at the economic impacts of physical activity, challenging current thinking on the health, social and environmental benefits of exercise, while also considering consumer motivations and how we measure success.

Tomorrow’s speakers will include a panel chaired by HCM editor, Liz Terry, examining the role of visionary industry leadership in progressing the health agenda, with Steve Ward from GoFit, Marcel Boots from Basic-fit and Jennifer Halsall-de Wit.

Other speakers will include Professor Alfonso Jimenez, who heads the EuropeActive research function and associate professor Jonathan Ruiz from the University of Granada who will look at the impact of exercise during childhood on cardiovascular Health in adults.

Dr. Silvano Zanuso will speak from the Wellness Foundation in Italy which is presenting its most recent impact report, while Dr Imran Rashid will talk about the effects of the digital era on physical and mental wellbeing and professor Willem van Mechelen from Vrije Universiteit Brussel will discuss the European Initiative of Exercise is Medicine which is working to connect health-care and exercise prescription.

Professor Larissa Davies from Sheffield Hallam University will wrap up the event with a paper titled “Understanding the Social Return of Physical Activity & Sports participation: the International Consensus on SROI.”

"EfHS is a unique event where health and fitness professionals can play their part in driving positive change in the healthcare industry through the promotion of physical activity and its benefit," said EuropeActive CEO, Andreas Paulsen.

EuropeActive is in discussions with The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) with a view to publishing the contributions made at EfHS in a special Supplement of its new open access Journal, Exercise, Sport, and Movement (ESM).

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