Implementation of the Healthy Communities in Tyrol

Authors: Heil Verena, Baudisch Corinna, Berari Fatemeh, Hofreiter Hannah


At the end of June 2012, the Federal Health Commission adopted the ten framework health targets for Austria. The goals are intended to serve as a framework for the management of the health care system and define the main areas of action up to the year 2032. The ultimate goal of these is that Austrians should be able to live healthier lives two years longer (Bundesministerium für Soziales, Gesundheit, Pflege und Konsumentenschutz, o.J.). This is the point where various health promotion projects at municipal, city or regional level come into play. One of these projects is that of the Healthy Community (Fonds Gesundes Österreich, 2014).

The aim of the Healthy Community is to promote the health of citizens where people live, work and live - directly in the community. A Healthy Community creates sustainable, communal structures with and for its inhabitants to motivate people to healthier lifestyles: Through healthy nutrition, exercise, medical prevention, mental and psychological health and participation, citizens should be able to live a longer, self-determined life in health (Fonds Gesundes Österreich, 2014).

The project partners consisting of GemNova, Verein Sicheres Tirol and avomed, planned to implement the Healthy Community Project in the Tyrolean communities of Fiss, Ladis and Serfaus. A comprehensive literature research on the topic was conducted and in addition, a participatory approach was chosen to better analyze the starting point for the project and the needs of the inhabitants of the communities and to be able to plan further project steps in a targeted manner: The inhabitants filled out questionnaires and were interviewed. Furthermore, a joint start workshop with the inhabitants of the communities will take place in the near future. 

The following core results were obtained from the literature research:

  • the participation of end users of the project in the co-design of the project is of particular importance. Participation and sensitization by means of different methods are essential for a successful implementation of the project (Rosenbrock and Hartung, 2012).

This could also be confirmed by the questionnaire, as more than 75% of the voices of each community stated that they would feel motivated to participate in programs offered if the programs met their interest.

  • a focus of health promotion should be placed on the socially disadvantaged population groups, as these have comparatively fewer healthy life years in statistical terms (Robert Koch Institut, 2017).
  • healthy life years and quality of life in old age are influenced throughout life and thus the basis for as many healthy life years as possible is laid at a young age (World Health Organisation, 2002).
  • national and international project comparisons did not find a best-practice solution for the design and implementation of health-promoting projects at the community level, but it became clear that it can be helpful to draw on existing experience for the project.

The empirical part of the research produced the following results (excerpt)


The respondents from the respective communities weighted the development needs of their communities differently in the categories of continuing education, promotion of a sense of community, and leisure and sports. The respondents from Fiss and Ladis see the greatest need of their communities in the topic of promoting a sense of community. Serfaus in the area of further education.

As already recognized in the literature research, no best-practice solution that is equally suitable for all three communities became visible. However, the importance of participation of the project's end users has become all the more apparent in order to be able to design and offer suitable programs and to anchor them in the long term. By participating in shaping life in a community, community capacities are increased and, in addition, greater participation of the population in community life is achieved (Rosenbrock and Hartung, 2012).

The needs indicated by the interviewees can be used as community-specific fields of action. A renewed survey with a longer period of time and an increased response rate on the respective needs would be important, since the population should be more generation-spanning and more extensively involved. This would ensure that the largest possible group of people would benefit from measures adapted to their needs and concerns.



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Fonds Gesundes Österreich (Hg.) (2014): Gesundheitsförderung in Gemeinden, Stadtteilen und Regionen - von der Idee zu Umsetzung (WISSEN, 11). Online verfügbar unter, zuletzt aktualisiert am 05.10.2017, zuletzt geprüft am 04.06.2020.

Robert Koch Institut (Hg.) (2017): Gesundheitliche Ungleichheit in verschiedenen Lebensphasen. Online verfügbar unter;jsessionid=1EB9269F22B647C7BC4847B2C77C0FC2.internet112?__blob=publicationFile, zuletzt geprüft am 02.05.2020.

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