NSPF (National Swimming Pool Foundation) CEO Tom Lachocki recently spoke at the 5th International Conference Swimming Pool and Spa in Rome, presenting on the Health Promotion and Social Benefits of Recreational Waters.


A bi-annual event, the conference is organised by European universities on a rotational basis, and the Rome event featured 195 attendees from 22 countries.


Among the conclusions reached by the participants were the recognition that the expansion of pool and spa-based recreation comes with an increase in health risks that should be fully managed and governed by the interests of public health, based on relevant scientific evidences and agreed best practice approaches. Aquatic recreation is an important tool in maintaining health at a time when many countries are experiencing an obesity epidemic, the participants noted.


They also concluded that aquatic recreation is key to the rapid growth of the global tourism industry – an essential component of many national sustainable development plans.


The lack of an international regulatory framework for safe pools and spas was noted, and participants recognised the need to pay more attention to specific issues of occupational health and safety for aquatic recreation workers, and to address the training needs of pool and spa operators.


Participants acknowledged the importance of recreational waters also within a travel and tourism contest, stressing that in view of inter-regional epidemiological differences, global health risk management of recreational waters will be required, while improved surveillance procedures can have a vital impact on users’ and operators’ health – reducing illness and injuries.


The 2015 ICSPS Conference will be organised by Delft University and held in Amsterdam on 18–20 March 2015.