Millions of people across Europe and around the world attend sports stadia each week to watch their team play, to work, to volunteer or to use the arena’s facilities.
At Healthy Stadia, we encourage professional and amateur sports clubs, league operators, national and international governing bodies of sport to develop their stadia and sports facilities as health-promoting environments.
We do this by supporting them to adopt a range of policies and practices in support of the health of their fans, their staff and the surrounding community. The definition we give to Healthy Stadia is:
Inspired by the World Health Organisation’s concept of ‘health promoting settings’, the Healthy Stadia model takes a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to health promotion, across population groups and risk factors.
Over the past 10 years, the potential for using sports stadia as health-promoting settings has started to be realised, not only to the benefit of fans and local communities, but also to help achieve the corporate objectives of sports organisations.
Action to promote health at sports stadia can take many forms including changes to stadium policies, the introduction of community health programmes and campaigning to raise awareness of specific health issues.
Sports stadia play important roles in the lives of fans and local communities and are capable of engaging large numbers of people.
In addition, a significant proportion of fans are middle-aged, working-class males who often have unhealthy habits, such as smoking tobacco, excess alcohol consumption, low physical activity and poor nutrition which can lead to a range of chronic health problems.
However, the ability of sports clubs to harness their badge to engage fans is almost unique, thereby having the potential to provide both an excellent physical setting and communications vehicle to positively influence their behaviour and improve their health and wellbeing.
In practice, the Healthy Stadia concept continuously evolves as new ideas and new challenges present themselves. We have three primary strands of work including policy guidance for stadia, delivery of health programmes at a community level and advocacy campaigns encouraging sports stakeholders to use the power of sport for the betterment of public health.
Healthy Stadia was born out of an EU project benchmarking examples of health-promoting policies and practices at selected stadia across Europe. Click here to learn more.