Actualities of Health Enhancing Physical Activity in Lithuanian Society in the Light of the EU Physical Activity Guidelines

Vilma Čingienė, Skaistė Laskienė

Abstract


Background. Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) is an important component of European sports policy. Lithuania, a member of the WHO and the European Union, recognizes the existing problems and seeks to join the relevant initiatives. There are questions how the provisions of the Health Enhancing Physical Activity are perceived and realized, what is the level of physical activity among population, and how are the EU Physical Activity Guidelines followed and implemented. The aim of the article is to disclose the actualities of promoting health through sport and physical activity in Lithuanian society in the light of the EU Physical Activity Guidelines.
Research methods and organization. Analysis of scientific literature, content analysis of documents, structured interviews. Health, education and sports industry experts working in organizations and institutions reporting to Panevėžys and Kaunas local authorities were interviewed for the study. All subjects are persons with third-level education. Half of the interviewees hold senior specialist’s position. The average age of the respondents is 42.16 years and the average work experience is 8.16 years. The survey was done in April, 2011.
Results and conclusions. The results of the empirical research on public health promotion in the country based on the evaluations of health, education and sports experts showed that implementation of HEPA policy is encumbered by inadequate cross-sector collaboration, which is also hindered by underdeveloped infrastructure and scarcity of indispensable financial and human resources. Information about HEPA programs in Lithuania is scant, and for this reason HEPA documents adopted in the country are not adequately executed. The biggest weakness of the HEPA programs is unreceptiveness, apparently caused by the inertness of the governmental institutions resulting from both inadequate funding and inappropriate approach of the authorities to the necessity, opportunities and perspectives of health enhancing physical activities.

Keywords


health enhancing physical activity; promoting health through sports; sports policy

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SPV-14-1-6-08

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"Health Policy and Management" ISSN online 2029-9001 / ISSN print 2029-3569