Challenges of physical activity and fitness analyzed in a symposium hosted by LSU
On August 24-27, 2016, in Kaunas, Lithuanian Sports University (LSU) together with the ICPAFR organized the 28th International ICPAFR Symposium: “Physical Activity and Fitness: Challenges and New Perspectives” . During the opening ceremony, the participants were welcomed by the President of ICPAFR Prof. Franco Viviani and LSU Rector Dr. Aivaras Ratkevičius. Vice-Minister of Education and Science of Lithuania Dr. Natalja Istomina sent her greetings to the symposium participants.
Invited keynote speakers were world-renowned scientists Dr. Brian Martin (Switzerland), Prof. Dr. Andrew P. Hills (Australia), and Dr. Dale Esliger (United Kingdom). Former Chairman of HEPA Europe, the European Network for the Promotion of Health-Enhancing Physical Activity, and Agita Mundo, the global network for physical activity promotion, Dr. B. Martin overviewed the development and current situation of physical activity promotion in the context of overall health policy. Member of the ICPAFR Scientific Committee Prof. Dr. A. P. Hills from the University of Tasmania (Australia) addressed the symposium participants with his presentation on the importance of effective exercise interventions for the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Founder of Movement Insights Lab Dr. D. Esliger from Loughborough University, which is one of the UK's leading universities for sport and sport science, presented how novel, adaptable, scalable, unobtrusive technologies and systems can be integrated and facilitate lifestyle behaviour change.
For two days in the oral and e-poster sessions, the symposium speakers analysed and presented their research findings on different aspects related to the promotion of physical activity and improvement of physical fitness. The Scientific Committee of the Symposium selected 53 abstracts resulting in 19 oral and 34 e-poster presentations. All together, the symposium hosted over 50 scientists from 18 different foreign countries (Australia, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, and USA). The symposium was also represented by the Lithuanian delegates from Vilnius University, Kaunas University of Technology, Klaipėda University, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, and the host institution – Lithuanian Sports University.
During the ICPAFR General Assembly and Closing Session, President of the ICPAFR Prof. Franco Viviani and the local Chairman of the Scientific Committee Prof. Dr. Saulius Šukys summarised the main outcomes of the symposium highlighing a broad range of topics covered during the sessions. Prof. F. Viviani extended special thanks to all people involved in organising this memorable event and announced potential venues for the next symposia. The General Assembly was concluded by announcing that Assoc. Prof. Dr. Rita Gruodytė-Račienė from the Lithuanian Sports University is invited to become a member of the ICPAFR Board. The symposium was partly funded by the Research Council of Lithuania.