When was the last time you were active? Have you awakened your volleyball or Frisbee skills with some friends in the park lately? How about going for a run after work or simply taking the stairs instead of the lift? Whether you take part in competitions, regularly slot some sport into your daily routine or just occasionally engage in simple physical activity – you have certainly experienced how being active can give you a boost. It helps us feel better, physically and mentally. It brings people together, allowing us to build friendships and cohesive, open communities.
On 23 September, we are celebrating the positive role of sport across Europe with the third edition of the European Week of Sport. It opens officially in Tartu, Estonia and has parallel events in many different places. Last year, more than 10 million people took part in over 15,000 events in 32 countries.
This year, we want it to be bigger and better. Working hand-in-hand with national authorities, sports organisations and other partners from 33 countries, we want to spread awareness and motivate even more people to get on their feet under the banner of our #BeActive motto. There will be something for everyone - regardless of age, background or fitness level.
The many benefits of sport
Sport is fun but, in fact, it is much more than that. At a time when modern lifestyle habits are at the root of major health problems in society, it is even more important for us to use the potential of sport to improve health and well-being. Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. A 2015 study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that the cost of ‘doing nothing’ was killing half a million Europeans and costing the economy over €80 billion annually through healthcare costs.
A 2014 Europe-wide survey showed that the proportion of Europeans who say they never exercise or play sport is worryingly high at 42%. These factors can seriously harm individuals' health and quality of life.
Kick-start your good habits with us during the European Week of Sport! Explore the ways that suit you best to integrate sport and physical activity into your daily routines, and pave the way to many health benefits that follow. We are looking forward to opening the European Week of Sport in Tartu and are very interested in seeing and hearing about how you took your health and well-being to the next level. Share you opinion on our social media and don't forget to use the hashtag #BeActive!
Photo: ©European Union