Health Enhancing Physical Activity in Europe (HEPA)

Welsh Partners

Public Health Wales - Policy Division (Public Health Network Cymru), Research Division, Health Improvement Division.

International Partners

WHO Europe, HEPA Europe

Funding Source
WHO Europe
All Wales
WHO Region
Country of intervention
United Kingdom
Project Focus
Physical Activity, Lifestyle, World Health Organization, WHO European Region
About the project

The Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) network provides an international forum for organisations working to increase physical activity levels in support of improving health outcomes which is also a key objective of Public Health Wales and of Public Health Network Cymru.


What does your project involve?
  • Promote a better understanding of health-enhancing physical activity and give a stronger voice to physical activity promotion in health policy and in other relevant sectors in Europe, including support for workforce development
  • Develop, support, and disseminate effective strategies and multi-sectoral approaches in the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity
  • Foster the preservation and creation of social and physical environments as well as values and lifestyles supportive of health-enhancing physical activity
  • Together with other relevant institutions and organisations, improve coordination in physical activity promotion across sectors and administrative structures.
Why are you working there?

Public Health Wales has been a member of the WHO Europe sponsored HEPA network since 2007, initially through the Physical Activity & Nutrition Network for Wales, now Public Health Network Cymru, and the network manager has been jointly chairing the HEPA promotion in Health care settings working group since 2012.

Malcolm Ward is a temporary advisor to a World Health Organization (WHO) expert group developing a Physical Acticity Strategy for the European Region and is working group leader for the HEPA network for Europe looking at physical activity in healthcare settings in Europe.

Key outcomes

Besides contributing to their annual conference and meeting, Public Health Wales hosted the 2012 conference on Physical Activity and the Natural Environment. This provided a valuable stage for showcasing the work of Public Health Wales and our partners and stakeholders as well as learning from the evidence and practice presented by our international colleagues. Public Health Wales has also been leading work mapping examples of interventions promoting physical activity through primary care; researching the role of physical activity in the medical curriculum in Europe; and was represented on the expert group that developed the WHO Europe Physical Activity Strategy.