Local authorities get moving

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The six selected local authorities are to test various ideas for how to promote physical activity. FAU researchers are responsible for providing scientific input to the project. (Image: GKV-Spitzenverband)

Model local authorities selected to promote physical activity in KOMBINE project

The GKV-Bündnis für Gesundheit (the Alliance for Health of German statutory health insurance providers) and the Department of Sport Science and Sport (DSS) at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have launched a project aimed at implementing national guidelines for physical activity and promoting physical activity. The project has been named KOMBINE, and is aimed at local authorities. Six model local authorities have been selected to test the project.

A total of 24 local authorities expressed an interest in participating. The six model authorities chosen throughout Germany are the three administrative districts Bad Kissingen, Kreis Segeberg and Schmalkalden-Meiningen as well as the cities of Marburg, Solingen and Stuttgart.

The statutory health insurance authorities and DSS selected the model authorities on the basis of their geographical location, the type of municipality they are, the state of existing infrastructure and the extent of their previous experience with measures for promoting physical activity at the local authority level. The organisers made an effort to choose local authorities which reflect the situation throughout Germany as well as possible. They were also keen to select local authorities with varying degrees of previous experience in this area.

The aim of the KOMBINE project is to establish sustainable structures for promoting physical activity at local authority level which are practical, based on science and tailored to suit the needs of the population. A particular focus is laid on improving equal opportunities for health. The KOMBINE project takes a mobilising and inclusive approach. In other words, the project reaches out to involve political decision-makers, stakeholders at local authority level, the general public and scientists.

Phase 1 of the KOMBINE project was launched in June 2018. During the first stage of the project, local authorities from the whole of Germany worked together with national decision-makers and scientists to identify factors for success, obstacles and requirements for promoting physical activity among the underprivileged at the local authority level. The results were then merged with existing scientific findings on the effectiveness and sustainability of promoting physical activity at the local authority level, and a model for action aimed at implementing physical activity at a local authority level was drawn up. In phase 2 (April 2019 to April 2020), the six selected model local authorities are to test the model for action within the context of the KOMBINE project. The insights and experience they gain will then act as the foundation for the dissemination and transfer concept in phase 3 (from May 2020 until December 2020).

Project financing

Within the framework of the funding programme for local authorities run by the GKV-Bündnis für Gesundheit, the selected authorities can apply for a total of up to 250,000 euros over a period of five years to invest in establishing sustainable structures for promoting physical activity and health. Scientists at the Department of Sport Science and Sport led by Prof. Dr. Alfred Rütten and Prof. Dr. Klaus Pfeifer are responsible for implementing and evaluating the KOMBINE project from a scientific point of view.

About GKV-Bündnis für Gesundheit

GKV-Bündnis für Gesundheit is a joint initiative of statutory health insurance providers in Germany aimed at developing and implementing measures for promoting health and prevention in various areas. It encourages the development of new structures and links to existing facilities, it designs and tests health-promotion concepts aimed in particular at disadvantaged target groups such as the underprivileged or those with health issues, and promotes measures aimed at quality control and scientific evaluation. In accordance with Section 20a (3) and (4) of German Social Security Code V, the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Providers has instructed the Federal Centre for Health Education to use funds from health insurance providers to implement the tasks of the GKV-Bündnis für Gesundheit.

More information is available on the GVK-Bündnis website.

Detailed information on the KOMBINE project is available on the GVK-Bündnis website.

Further information

GKV-Spitzenverband Press Office
Ann Marini
Phone: +49 30 206 288 4201

FAU Press Office
Dr Susanne Langer
Phone: +49 9131 85 70229