Thursday’s plenary session at ECSS Dublin 2018 focuses on physical activity and exercise behaviour: how do genes and environment affect this. The session is chaired by Prof Willem Van Mechelen from VU University in the Netherlands. Eco De Geus (VU University, the Netherlands) talks about “The Genetic Determinants of Regular Voluntary Exercise Behaviour” and Adrian Bauman (Sydney University, Australia) on the other hand concentrates on “The Social and Environmental Determinants of Physical Activity and Exercise”.

Here is how Prof Van Mechelen approaches the session.

“Lack of daily physical activity and regular exercise is a big problem; to the individual and to public health. In addition physical inactivity leads to substantial costs to society.  As a result of this there now is increased effort to get the population more active worldwide. A critical question is to what extent people and society can actually self-regulate (their) physical activity and exercise behaviour, or that physical activity and exercise behaviour is by and large determined by genetic factors. Also what could be called ‘inevitable environmental pressure’ could play an important role in determining daily physical activity behaviour. This plenary keynote with address this topic from 2 different and to some extend opposing angles.”



  1. Physical activity behaviour is partly determined by genetics;
  2. However, environmental pressure plays an important role in determining population levels of physical activity;
  3. If ‘the people’ cannot self-regulate their health behaviour, there is market failure and thus an obligation for governments to intervene

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See you on Thursday 5 July 2018 in Auditorium at 11:30 – 12:45 at the CCD.


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