• 13 – 16 April 2023
  • Exhibition Centre Cologne

20. Dezember 2022, Carolin Knoke

10 Key Learnings from the 10th EIEIM Congress

©  Exercise is Medicine

The 10th annual congress of the European Initiative for Exercise in Medicine e.V. (EIEIM) took place in Padua from 27 to 29 October 2022. Together with Exercise is Medicine Italy, international speakers met at the scientific congress to discuss interesting topics in sports medicine and sports science. The desire for a global change regarding the physical activity of the population was in the foreground. We have summarized the most important scientific results. 

1) Physical inactivity as a major global problem

In order to address the global problem of physical inactivity among the population, it is significant to bring the issue to the public's attention. Initiatives such as the European Initiative for Exercise in Medicine e.V., Exercise is Medicine or also Moving Medicine try to highlight the reasons for integrating sport and exercise into the treatment plans of patients in clinics and doctors' practices, for example the cost-effective prevention of various social diseases of the musculoskeletal system, metabolism or psyche.

2) Digital technologies must be simple and smart

In order for physical activity to be measured and performed in the clinical setting with the help of digital technologies, it is essential that technical solutions are easy and quick to use and enable valid measurements. This is the only way to ensure that the equipment is suitable for everyday clinical use and can be used to support patients' physical activity or for data collection by scientists.

3) More motivation for physical activity through digital technologies

Digital media can motivate people to be more physically active in their daily lives and educate them about the importance of physical activity for their health. For example, digital technologies offer the possibility to record and analyse one's own exercise and to send motivational messages. Together with instructions on how to use the technologies correctly, this would be a possible approach to positively change society in terms of physical activity.

4) Healthy diet and physical activity keep the body's cells healthy

Mitochondria are cell organelles and are found in our body cells. As so-called “power plants of the cells”, they produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which serves the human body as an energy carrier and is needed throughout the body. During physical activity, the mitochondria have to work more intensively, which, together with a healthy diet, can have a positive effect on the health and function of these important cell organelles and thus lead to better cell health in the organism.

5) Physical activity has a protective effect on nerve cells

Not only athletic training, but also other types of physical activity, for example everyday exercise or a round of dancing, can have a protective effect on the peripheral and central nerve cells of the body and thus also of the musculoskeletal system. Physical activity can reduce small inflammatory processes and neuronal cell death, which in turn can counteract muscle loss and loss of cognitive performance.

6) Muscle loss and bedridden ness in old age “don't have to be”

Ageing processes and sedentary behaviour often lead to a rapid loss of muscle mass in older people. The disappearance of muscles can be accompanied by immobility and even bedridden ness. In order to counteract muscle loss in old age in a targeted manner, it is important that older people receive adapted exercise programmes and that strengthening physical activity takes place regularly: “It is not normal to lose muscle”.

7) Significantly reduced mortality risk through physical activity

Physical inactivity has become a global problem in recent decades, even though exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of death. It is significant to be physically active on a regular and continuous basis. Not only sporting activities such as jogging or fitness training, but also ordinary activities in everyday life are helpful, such as household and family activities or an active commute to work. People who exercise regularly live longer.

8) Incorporate physical activity into clinical treatment plans

The treatment of patients in clinics and doctors' offices does not currently include the prescription of sport or exercise, although physical activity has been shown to help against many non-infectious diseases. Therefore, it is a global goal of Exercise in/is Medicine that physical activity is built into treatment plans for patients on an individual basis. Thus, for example, physical training could be used to prescribe an adapted therapy even before an operation on the musculoskeletal system.

9) Improve nutrition and weight management through physical activity

Regular exercise and training can have a positive effect on nutritional behaviour and weight management. In the medical setting, nutritional counselling, exercise counselling and psychological support are also useful for targeted physical activity and achieving weight loss and/or a healthy diet.

10) Improved blood pressure and adjusted blood sugar through sport and exercise

Regular targeted physical activity can not only bring about weight loss, but also lead to improved insulin sensitivity, which in turn can lead to healthy blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity also has a positive effect on the function of the blood vessels and thus on blood pressure.