The EU's political sport directors have highlighted the importance of physical activity in improving public health and quality of life, with benefits going beyond the fight against obesity.
EU sports directors met in July 2007 to discuss, among other issues, the Commission’s White Paper on sport. On the agenda were also the issues of health policies and the financing of sport through gambling and internet gaming.
Regarding health, the directors highlighted the importance of physical activity in ‘improving individual and public health, quality of life and life expectancy, with benefits that range far beyond the struggle against obesity and have a major impact on medical care costs’.
The meeting urged governments, sports federations, the education sector, urban planning, transport and the media to work more actively to promote physical activity and ‘create a living environment that encourages the largest number of people to become physically active’.
On gambling and internet gaming the sports chiefs called for ‘a concerted policy among member states or a new directive on the issue’. They reiterated that maintaining state control over gambling was necessary to ensure funding for sports.