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Health enhancing physical activity in all policies? Comparison of national public actors between France and Belgium

  • Van Hoye, Aurélie
  • Vandoorne, Chantal
  • Absil, Gaëtan
  • Lecomte, Flore
  • Fallon, Catherine
  • Lombrail, Pierre
  • Vuillemin, Anne
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2019
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Despite evidence on the benefits of health enhancing physical activity (HEPA), only few countries have developed "health in all policies" and specifically integrated HEPA policies. Paucity of studies have questioned the role of public national actors in PA policies enactment and delivery, the barriers and levers for adopting cross-sectoral HEPA. The present work seeks at comparing France and Belgium in regard to their competencies of ministries promoting HEPA, the presence of leadership and coordination in HEPA policies implementation, their key public legal entities working on HEPA. Expert interviews and document analysis were realized to complete the HEPA policy audit tool in each country. Results have shown that HEPA cross-sectoral policies are at their early stage. A broad diversity of sectors was implicated in HEPA policies: sport, health, transport, environment, and education, but often with weak activity. No leadership or coordination exist to implement HEPA policies, although different public legal entities could work on this aim. Ministries relationships were principally coming from formal co-interventions mandated by national public plans in France, where in Belgium relationships were punctual. Lobbying within each sector and in key public legal entities to promote HEPA is needed, and the development of official national coordination is essential.

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