On September 1st, EuropeActive attended a World Health Organisation (WHO) webinar addressing innovative systems thinking tools and approaches to promote health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA). 
 
This webinar was organised jointly by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS GDR Sport & Physical Activity, and Queens University Belfast, as the opening event for the Summer School of the WHO European network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA Europe). HEPA Europe is a WHO network which aims to provide a forum for the advancement of HEPA research, policy and practice across the WHO European Region. 
 
The WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity recommends strengthening the systems necessary to implement effective and coordinated action to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour. In this frame, the webinar brought together leading experts on systems thinking and complexity science, which represent a vast multidisciplinary field of established and emergent theories and methods that can be used to address the inherent challenge of tackling the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases at local, national, and global levels.  
 
Systems-based approaches were introduced and explained, and examples of their application in practice were presented, in order to replicate projects and strategies for the promotion of physical activity. Current data and relevant case studies were also used to support the development of evidence-based policies utilising a systems approach to strengthen multisectoral implementation of brief HEPA interventions and evaluate their impact. 
 
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Sep 2, 2021 By Pauline Joskin