ISCA HEPA Expert Group

ISCA’s Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) Expert Group comprises experienced professionals from the health sector and academia. Our online learning course, webinars and in-person workshops will share insights from their work in active ageing, NCD prevention, mental health and wellbeing, socially disadvantaged groups, children and youth.

ISCA HEPA Expert Group

Learn from experienced professionals

ISCA identified a clear need and interest among our members to develop more expertise when it comes to providing health-enhancing physical activities to specific target groups with various health conditions. In order to facilitate this capacity building, we have established the ISCA HEPA Expert Group to help our members and broader network of physical activity promoters to learn and develop their own initiatives. The Expert Group features diverse professionals with scientific and medical backgrounds, all of whom are also practitioners who have extensive experience in developing HEPA programmes at the community level. They know what works and what doesn’t – and how to use evidence to deliver effective, customised activities.

How the ISCA HEPA Expert Group is contributing their knowledge and expertise

By selecting good practices in HEPA programmes for our collection of examples.

By identifying and interpreting relevant scientific literature and evidence that can enhance HEPA promotion programmes.

By building the capacity of grassroots sport organisations through guest presentations and Q&A in our HEPA webinars, modules in our online learning course, and in-person workshops and masterclasses.

Specialist topics covered

  • Active ageing (including falls prevention).
  • The role of HEPA in non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention and recovery from illness.
  • Creating environments that nurture participants’ mental health and wellbeing.
  • Socially disadvantaged groups’ access to HEPA. Physical activity among children and youth, including active school approaches, physical literacy and whole-school events.

List of Experts

Ms. Niamh Murphy Pedagogy and Social Innovation Manager Centre for Health Behaviour Research
Department of Health Sport and Exercise Science
Waterford Institute of Technology

Dr. Niamh Murphy Prof Niamh Murphy is a senior lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at Waterford Institute of Technology. Niamh has a PhD and Masters from The Queens University Belfast and an undergraduate degree in physical education from the University of Limerick. Niamh has 25 years teaching and research supervision experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in health promotion and exercise and health. She has over 50 peer reviewed publications. Research interests and publications include population physical activity, evaluations of community based health promotion initiatives, physical activity policy, and the role of mass events on population health. Prof Murphy is a member of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH), Health Enhancing Physical Activity Network (HEPA )Europe and International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA). She is co-investigator of the Irish Physical Activity Research Collaboration (I-PARC Niamh is an active athletics coach and a former Irish international athlete.

Topics to cover: Covid19, Men`s health, social disadvantaged groups, Mental well-being and Physical activity.

Ms. Ine De Clerck Artevelde University of Applied Sciences Ghent
Centre for Innovation and Research in Health & Care

Dr. Ine De Clerck is an exercise scientist and has a PhD in Exercise Physiology. She currently works at Artevelde University of Applied Sciences and is head of the Centre for Innovation and Research Health & Care. Her research interests are within the applied research domain that focus on translating and implementing evidence and guidelines within the practice and processes of caregivers and health professionals. Ine has research experience in Exercise Physiology and Testing, Cardiology, Human Biology and Human Centered Design Research. Last few years she focused for example on Workplace Physical Activity (designing a feasible and acceptable HIIT-program for desk-top workers in an office setting, "HIIT@WORK"), Active & Healthy Ageing (homebased physical activity program for frail elderly, »Active@Home«) and specific target groups such as cancer patients (motivating cancer patients to increase physical activity during treatment, »Moving Cancer Care«). She is also active in the promotion of "European Fitness Badge" and is co-leading HEPA group of Workplace HEPA promotion.

Topics to cover: Innovation in Health care, Public health, Healthy workplace, EFB.

Gregor Starc PhD in anthropology and media studies The Academic and Research Network of Slovenia
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Sport

Gregor is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana and has been serving as the manager of the Slovenian National Surveillance System for Somatic and Motor Development of Children and Youth (SLOfit) since 2007. His research group is focused on studying various aspects of children’s physical activity, physical fitness, lifestyle changes and other areas, related to their development. They work closely with Slovenian schools to ensure the expert support for high quality school physical education and sport. Prior to completing his PhD in social anthropology, he worked as the national coordinator of Slovenian School Sport Competitions.

Topics to cover: Kids and youth, Physical Literacy, a key competence for life-long learning, covid19.

Ms. Rose Marie Repond Bern University of Applied Sciences
BFH · Department of Sport

Rose-Marie is scientific advisor of the Institute, she has been teaching for more than 30 years (field: Motor learning and control, didactic); as EUPEA's board member and former President, she is experienced in the fields of sport and education, with a large number of papers published, such as She has been initiating the first Physical Literacy project (PHYLITP, PL4L) and have been involved in Active Voice, Active school Communities, HEPAS, EuPEO) and now in DIPHE). She is able to offer synergy between different institutions – politics, education and research. Therefore, she is contributing to this Project.

Topics to cover: PA and PE, Physical Literacy, a key competence for life-long learning, covid19.

Mr. Paolo Emilio ADAMI, MD, PhD Medical Manager at World Athletic Health and Science Department Italy

Paolo Emilio is a Medical Doctor specialised in Sports and Exercise Medicine and holds a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Rome “Foro Italico”. He is the Medical Manager of the Health and Science Department at World Athletics. His research interests include cardiovascular adaptations induced by exercise, prevention of sudden cardiac death, effect of air pollution on health and athletic performance, pre-participation assessment of elite, Olympic and Paralympic athletes, cardiovascular effects of drugs and doping substances, and the use of exercise for health enhancement and prevention.

Topics to cover: promotion of children’s physical activity and improvement of health and wellbeing, the use of exercise for health enhancement and prevention.

Ms. Anna Chalkley Research Fellow Centre for Physically Active Learning
Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Dr Anna Chalkley is a Research Fellow within the Centre for Physically Active Learning at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Her research interest is in the co-production, development, implementation and evaluation of school-based approaches to promote children’s physical activity and improved health and wellbeing. Anna’s interests also include working at the interface of research, policy and practice in physical activity promotion to ensure that her research is impactful and is applicable to the real world. Consequently, Anna is a member of the UK Chief Medical Officer’s Expert Committee for Physical Activity, a board member (Councils Director) for the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH), steering committee member and Chair Elect for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Enhancing Physical Activity (HEPA) Europe Network.

Topics to cover: promotion of children’s physical activity and improvement of health and wellbeing.

Mr. Michael Tiemann Professor of Sport Science and Head of the Health and Social Department at the SRH University of Applied Health Sciences Germany

Michael Tiemann is Professor of Sport Science and Head of the Health and Social Department at the SRH University of Applied Health Sciences. He is also a member of the university management board. Previously he was Associate Professor of Sport Science at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and scientific instructor in the Department of Health Promotion and Prevention at a German health insurance company. In addition to his university activities, he is a member of scientific advisory boards and expert groups of the German Federal Ministry of Health, the German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) and the board of the German Walking Institute (DWI).
For about 30 years, he has researched the health effects of physical activity and health sport and their importance in preventing noncommunicable diseases and promoting public health. In this context, he has developed, implemented and evaluated numerous health sport programs for different target groups, among other things. His current research focus are fields of application and effects of digital movement offers and exercise programs. He has published a large number of scientific papers, reports and books.

Topics to cover: Health enhancing physical activity, health sport, public health, prevention and rehabilitation of noncommunicable diseases, psychosocial health resources and physical literacy, digital exercise programs.

Ms. Andrea Backovic Jurican National Institute for Public Health Faculty of Health Care Angela Boškin Slovenia

Having bachelor degrees in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Organizational Sciences. Andrea works at a National Institute for Public Health (Slovenia) as a national health promoter. Furthermore she is an acting chair of the department of physiotherapy and a senior lecturer at a Faculty of Health Care Angela Boškin. Her work is based on planning, leading or coordinating and evaluating several national health and physical activity (PA) projects and programs. She is also involved in policy development and implementation, making sure that concept of “Health in all policies” is assured. Research, development and implementation of PA interventions for people with risk factors and NCDs at different settings, including teaching undergraduate physiotherapy (PT) students and training health/ other professionals, represent the special focal points in her work. PT and PA advocacy is her mission too. Andrea is a board member of World Physiotherapy Network for Health Promotion in Life and Work and a former steering committee member of WHO HEPA Europe Network. She is a president of a national Physiotherapist Section for Health Promotion. Occasionally she is a consultant to United Nations as well. Furthermore she is a member of many national/international expert groups related to management of NCDs, public health, lifestyle change, PA/PT promotion, sports and human rights at different settings (health care, workplace, environment, spatial planning, education, community).

Topics to cover: Public health, NCD prevention and effective interventions, Primary health care, HEPA promotion, Healthy workplace, Physiotherapy, Physical Literacy.

"Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union not the granting authority can be held responsible for them."

sharing practical,
real-life, evidence-based
solutions can achieve
more in reality than any
theory or policy paper.

Saska Benedicic TOMAT
Head of Projects


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