On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, the European Federation of Company Sports hosted a hybrid conference on active workplaces. In his opening speech, Philippe Paquay, General Manager of Sport Vlaanderen, discussed the work of the Flemish government in the field of active workplaces and emphasized the importance of physical activity for the well-being of workers. In her speech, the head of the EU Commission’s sports department responded by calling for a new normal that would benefit the health of Europeans. She referred to the European Commission’s HealthyLifestyle4All campaign, which was launched in September this year, as well as the #BEACTIVE Awards, which also include a workplace category.
Yves Le Lostecque, head of the Erasmus Mundus & Sport department, then went into more detail about the financing options for physical activity promotion, including at work, that the Erasmus + program offers. He stressed that the European Commission recognizes the importance and potential of physical activity for health and economic growth and that funding for physical activity and sport has been increased significantly in the current funding cycle of the Erasmus + program. The opening remarks were followed by updates and discussions on projects such as the “Workplace Active” certificate, an EU-funded action under the Erasmus + program, which formed the framework for this conference.
The innovative aspects of the Active Workplace Certificate project lie in the choice of a specific channel to combat low physical activity in the EU: the company. Indeed, the company is particularly well suited as a context and location for engaging employees in physical activity for several reasons.