A sedentary lifestyle, inadequate physical activity, and overeating are the main features of the modern lifestyle throughout the developed world. The negative effects on health, quality of life, and the economy are already well documented. The problem concerns all ages and our island is no exception. Young people in Cyprus, in particular, have the highest rates of weight gain and physical inactivity in Europe. Prevention is necessary and should start from childhood, which is the most critical time for shaping behavior. The program entitled “Supporting Gamified Physical Activities in & out of Schools (SUGAPAS)” is an innovative project funded by Erasmus +.
The focus of the project is “raising awareness about the importance of physical activity in health through increased participation and equal access to sports for all, aiming to achieve a change in lifestyle“. The target group of the SUGAPAS program is teenagers. The SUGAPAS program will try to support the current needs of young people in the EU and the Republic of Cyprus. In particular, the objectives of the program are:
- To reduce sedentary behavior and improve eating habits.
- To promote a healthy lifestyle.
- To help young people overcome barriers to their physical activity.
European University Cyprus has a key role in the Program and its research contribution is mainly focused on two dimensions, namely, i) in recording the European practice of adolescents in terms of lifestyle, physical activity, and eating habits, and ii) in creating digital educational support material for adolescents in the above topics.