Policy and research

Conceptual framework of Sports Club for Health

The operational concepts of the SCforH approach may not necessarily be applicable to other physical activity promotion initiatives. Within this conceptual framework, the focus of the SCforH approach is placed on health-enhancing sports activity (HESA) and health-enhancing exercise (HEXE).

Physical activity (PA) = “Any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure”

Health-enhancing physical activity* (HEPA) = Physical activity that produces health benefits. This includes all types of physical activities that are beneficial to one’s health and present no or only minimal health and safety risks. In the SCforH conceptual framework, physical activity is further categorised into areas of lifestyle physical activity (at work, at home, during transport, and during leisure time), exercise, and sports activity.

Health-enhancing lifestyle physical activity (HELSPA) = Physical activities other than organised sports and exercise that are performed at work, during transport, at home, or during leisure time.

Health-enhancing sports activity** (HESA) = All type of sports activities that are beneficial to health and present no or only minimal health and safety risks. The SCforH approach places a focus on physical activities that are carried out as part of sports club activities. Various types of sport activities can be HESA, but their health effects may vary depending on their type, dose (frequency, intensity, and duration), and the participants’ initial levels of fitness.

Health-enhancing exercise (HEXE) = Planned, structured, and repetitive exercises performed to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness and health. These can take place, for example, in exercise classes (e.g., Nordic walking, aerobics, and gymnastics) offered at a sports club.

Sports Club for Health (SCforH) = Approach in which sports clubs are encouraged to promote health-enhancing sports activities and health-enhancing exercise as part of their activities.

* Health benefits are dependent on the amount of physical activity, exercise, and sports. The amount is defined by the frequency, intensity, and duration of the activity. From the health perspective, the advantage of sports activities is that they typically have higher intensities than lifestyle physical activities.

** HESA can also be viewed from a wider perspective as all time spent in sports club activities (the Health Promoting Sports Club [HPSC] approach).