The Commission and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) are seizing the occasion of this season's football Champions League to promote a message encouraging people to get physically active.
The 30-second TV advert using the slogan 'Go on, get out of your armchair' aired in more than 40 European countries at the interval of each of the 125 televised Champions League football games is expected to reach some 100 million viewers. The TV advertising campaign is free of charge for the Commission as the airtime is offered by UEFA.
The campaign is launched after a recent Eurobarometer survey showed that only 15% of EU citizens are active in sports and that more than one out of three Europeans do not perform any physical activity by way of recreational or leisure activities.
Together with unbalanced diets, the lack of physical exercise has turned obesity into a serious public health problem. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the prevalence of obesity has more than trebled in many European countries in the past 20 years - with increasing childhood overweight and obesity rates causing particular concern.
Earlier this year the Commission adopted two White Papers - one on nutrition, overweight and obesity and another on sport - both of which emphasise the need for more physical activity, highlight its beneficial impact on health and propose measures to be taken at all levels and across policies to get people active.