Welcome to EGREPA!

EGREPA is the European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity.

The research area of Physical Activity for the elderly is a rapidly growing field. The European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity (EGREPA) was born during the Third International Conference on Physical Activity, Aging and Sport, held at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, in 1992.

At this meeting it was recognized that there was a need for an European international scientific organization which would deal with these concerns. Since that moment EGREPA has organized and collaborated in a series of events aimed at achieving its founding objectives.

EURAPA Journal

EURAPA is an official publication of the European Group for Research into the Elderly and Physical Activity (EGREPA). It publishes scientific reviews and original contributions in relation to aging and physical activity for researchers and practitioners wishing to look beyond the borders of their specialization. The journal aims to provide an international forum for the advancement of our understanding of the relationships between aging and physical activity. Research approaches in the field of aging and physical activity emerge from several disciplines and the scope of EURAPA encompasses biomedical as well as behavioral sciences. It covers topics ranging from biochemistry, biomechanics, clinical sciences, ethics and philosophy, exercise science, genetics, geriatrics, gerontology, immunology, health, motor learning and motor control, orthopaedics, research methods, nutrition, physiology, psychology, and sociology. In addition to being a platform for established research groups, the journal invites novice researchers to submit reviews or original papers. EURAPA is a peer reviewed journal. http://www.eurapa.net


International Scientific Symposium In collaboration with the European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity “THE 3-DIMENSIONAL EFFECT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN OLD AGE – PHYSICAL, MENTAL & EMOTIONAL” November 12-13th, 2015 Kaunas, Lithuania

You are cordially invited to the International Scientific Symposium which will focus on the latest trends in research on active and successful aging.

The aim of the Symposium is to bring together scientists who are interested in the field of physical activity, aging and health and to conduct an open dialogue that combines and connects research and practical issues in this field. 

 Symposium presentation:


 Symposium presentation:




Prof. Dr. Yael Netz, Wingate College, Israel

Is Professor of Gerontology at the Wingate College of Physical Education and Sports Sciences where she developed and instituted a program for physical activity in old age. Her areas of research are: Physical fitness and cognitive functioning in old age; the psychological effect of a single training session on the elderly; physical activity patterns among the elderly and other age groups in the population; physical activity and psychological variables in adult and old age. Prof. Netz has recently been appointed President of the European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

Symposium presentation:




Dr. Oron Levin, KU Leuven Movement Control and Neuroplasticity Research Centre, Belgium

Is a senior researcher at the KU Leuven Movement Control and Neuroplasticity Research Group and holds a PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering. His current research activities cover topics in movement neuroscience, aging, and developmental neuroscience. Within this framework he is interested in age-related changes in the function/structure of brain networks that support sensorimotor integration and inhibition. His work also examines the role of interventions with non-invasive brain stimulation techniques as therapeutic tools in neurodegenerative diseases as well as a means to affect performance and behavior. His current research focuses on the effects of healthy aging motor functions with special emphases on relationships between age-related declines in the ability to modulate inhibition and changes in structural and biochemical properties of the aging brain.

Symposium presentation:



Prof. Dr. Habil. Albertas Skurvydas, Lithuanian Sports University, Lithuania

Is Rector of Lithuanian Sports University, since 2000 Professor in the field of biomedical sciences, a well-known researcher in Lithuania. His research interests include motor control and learning, adaptation of skeletal muscles, neurorehabilitation, philosophy of science, neuromarketing and neuroeconomics. His current research activities include heading the research area “Brain and Skeletal Muscles”. He supervised more than 15 doctoral dissertations and participated in the preparation of more than 34 dissertations. The study courses taught are Motor Control and Learning, Modern Rehabilitation and System Theory. Professor is the author of several monographies, research publications the majority of which are in peer-reviewed journals of ISI Web of Science database, member of the editorial boards of international research journals. He is also member of the European College of Sport Science, European Physiological Society, member of the board of Lithuanian Physiological Society and Biomedical Engineering Society.

Symposium presentation:



Prof.  Dr. Goran Sporiš, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Holds the position of associate professor in the field of social sciences, kinesiology – branch Systematic kinesiology at the Faculty of Kinesiology University of Zagreb. He was mentor of 32 graduate papers and 2 doctoral theses. Currently he holds the position of Department for General and Applied Kinesiology head, International Relations Office head and coordinator for foreign students at the Faculty of Kinesiology University of Zagreb.

His topics of interest in scientific research are the analysis of performance in sports, scientific research in the field of kinesiology, management in the field of sports and physical education, training, testing, top athletes, growth and development in relation to athletic performance, the science of football. Goran Sporiš is a reviewer at 16 international journals (Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology, Collegium Antropologicum, Croatian Journal of Education, Journal of Sport Science, Int. J. Performance Analysis in Sport, Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, European Journal of Sport Science, Sports Science, Croatian Sports Medicine Journal, Kinesiology, Acta Kinesiologica, Homosporticus, Journal of Sports Science and Medicine). He is a member of the editorial board of two international journals: Homosporticus and Sports Science. 

Symposium presentation:




Priv.-Doz. Dr. Michael Brach, University of Munster, Germany

Is a Senior lecturer (Privatdozent) at the Institute of sport and exercise sciences  of the University of Muenster, Germany. He holds a doctoral degree in human movement sciences from the University of Potsdam. His research addresses the implementation and evaluation of programmes on physical activity and exercise for older adults, including ambient assisted living and serious games. Dr Brach is treasurer of the European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity (EGREPA), and works for the European Commission as independent reviewer in research calls regarding health and technology. 


Symposium presentation:

Senior researcher Zoran Milanović, University of Niš, Serbia

Experience in working in the field of recreation, he gained as an assistant in teaching at the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Nis. He was also the coordinator of the "healthy lifestyle" which was supported by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Serbia as well as the "small courts, a great joy."

Also he is a member of the coaching staff of Serbian cadet football team, where he works as a fitness coach and analyst, then fitness trainer and analyst in the youth school FK "Radički" Niš and regional instructor Football Association of Serbia. Also, he has an UEFA "C" license and a certificate for analysts in sport - football issued by Middlesex University, London, England. Works as a scientific collaborator on the project financed by Ministry of Science and Technological Development titled "Physical activity and fitness components of the old men", project number OI179065. 

So far he published more than 50 scientific papers in international journals, most of which were conducted on the topic of exercise and recreational soccer.


Symposium presentation:



Prof. Dr. Wiebren Zijlstra, Cologne Sport University, Germany  

Is professor and head of the Institute of Movement and Sport Gerontology at the German Sport University Cologne.  He graduated in Human Movement Sciences and received a PhD at the Medical Faculty of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.  His research and teaching focus on physical activity and its relationships with physical and cognitive functioning in older people.  Special interests include mobility, neuro-mechanical adaptability, and exercise based interventions to improve health span.  His scientific work includes the development and application of sensor based methods to study and to improve physical activity and mobility patterns in daily life of older people.




Title of symposium:                                    

  Cognitive-motor performance as related to age, physical activity and physical fitness – process specific or processing speed?

Chairperson: Yael Netz

The EGREPA (European Group of Research into Elderly and Physical Activity) Symposium

Convenor(s) with affiliation(s):


Prof. Claudia Voelcker-Rehage - Jacobs University Bremen and Technische Universität Chemnitz, Germany

Prof. Soledad Ballesteros - Studies on Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Group,

Department of Basic Psychology II, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid, Spain    

General abstract:


Aging is characterized by progressive deterioration in cognitive (Verhaeghen & Cerella, 2002) as well as motor functions (Seidler,et al. 2010). Two dominant theories explain the deficits in cognitive-motor functioning: the processing-speed hypothesis and the process-specific theory. The first views cognition as being driven by a processing rate, and supposes that the rate in older adults is less than in younger adults (Salthouse, 2000). The second distinguishes between tasks that involve executive control demands, such as inhibitory control, and other tasks in which these demands are negligible. This theory postulates an age-related deficit specific to particular executive processes (Mayr et al. 2001).

The effort to attenuate the cognitive decline associated with aging is consistently growing and a large pool of evidence has been generated linking physical activity or physical fitness to improved cognitive functions in older adults (e.g. Colcombe & Kramer, 2003). Nevertheless, there are quite a few unrevealed issues in the physical activity – fitness- cognition- and motor functioning relationship.



To explore various cognitive and motor functions in relation to age, physical activity and physical fitness. Specifically, to examine to what extent this link is process specific or reflects processing-rate. In addition, to examine the unique contribution of physical exercise software to enhance motor functions.



The first presentation of this symposium will examine whether the variable “age” generates different patterns of peripheral vision and of visuospatial attention tasks or on the contrary, young, older and very older participants perform the tasks similarly, differing primarily ]


in processing speed. The next three presentations will examine the relationship between physical activity and physical fitness to various motor and cognitive tasks. Reducing processing-speed as a result of “playing it safe” or deterioration in processing-specific tasks related to sensorimotor integration is the question to be raised in the second presentation.  Focusing on motor control tasks - control of aiming and eye-hand coordination – the presentation will investigate whether older adults informing on sedentary lifestyle, are impaired to a greater extent compared to their peers who inform on physically active lifestyle, or whether the difference between the two groups stem from using different strategies in aiming behavior. The third presentation will elaborate on visuomotor tracking task requiring fine motor control. While controlling for cognitive decline, the study examines differences between high and low fitness groups of older adults on these tasks arguing that better performance on this task is attributed to physical fitness, rather than to physical activity. The fourth presentation will claim that the effect of a single aerobic session on cognitive functioning in middle-age is process specific, demonstrating that the aerobic session enhances response inhibition but not motor planning and eye-hand coordination. Further, it will argue that physical fitness is not a moderating variable of this effect. The concluding presentation will elaborate on physical exercise software based on motion tracking (exergame) that has a great potential for affecting spatial abilities, perceptual-motor performance, reaction time and balance in old age. 

Authors and titles of single contributions:


  1. Speed of processing made the difference in very older sedentary adults

Soledad Ballesteros & Mónica Muiños

  1. Do sedentary older adults “play it safe”? Evidence from studies on manual aiming in active and sedentary older adults

Oron Levin, Florian Van Halewyck, Ann Lavrysen, Matthieu Boisgontier, Digby Elliott & Werner Helsen

  1. Does fitness level influence fine motor control in older adults?

Lena Hübner, Ben Godde & Claudia Voelcker-Rehage

  1. Acute aerobic activity enhances response inhibition for less than 30 min.

Yael Netz, Mona Abu-Rukun, Sharon Tsuk, Tzvi Dwolatzky, Raffi Carasso & Ayelet Dunsky

  1. Motivating environments based on motion tracking to promote physical activity among elderly (exergames)

Michael Brach, Oliver Korn, Klaus Hauer & Sven Unkauf