The Healthy Living Prize

The Healthy Living Prize was initiated in 2008 by Wolfgang Sobotka, now the Minister of the Interior. Since then, about 1600 healthy living projects from all over Austria have entered the competition and 54 projects have won prizes.

The idea

The Healthy Living Prize aims to increase awareness of healthy living. It rewards special commitment and encourages the  sharing of ideas and experience nationwide and across Europe.

The award

The Healthy Living Prize is awarded in three categories, to Companies, Municipalities/Cities and Educational Institutions that have shown personal commitment to initiating and implementing ideas and projects relating to healthy living, in order to make the wider population more aware of the importance of long-term health and wellbeing.

In each category, two national winners (from across Austria and from Lower Austria) are selected by a distinguished national jury and are rewarded with a EUR 3000 prize.

The winner of the "Healthy Living Prize for Europe" is chosen from all three categories by an internationally esteemed jury. A prize of EUR 5000 is awarded.

In addition to the prize money, each winner receives a bronze trophy which symbolises the Greek goddess of health, cleanliness and hygiene Hygieia.

The criteria

Any project may be entered which focuses on promoting good health and preventing illness. They can range from creative individual measures to long-term projects and campaigns.

The jury assesses both the idea behind the project and the way it is implemented. Preference is given to projects that require the target group to become actively involved and that bring about a lasting change in the behaviour of the participants. Creativity and good ideas are just as important in the evaluation process as the content and lasting benefit of the project.

The content of the projects is assessed under the terms of the Ottawa Charter.

The trophy

The "Hygieia" trophy depicts a stylised figure of a strong-looking woman. Her raised arms suggest both athletic movement and a sheltering roof. The streamlined shape of her body is reminiscent of a protective filter. The spiral around her body brings to mind the cycle of life and, in its elasticity, represents life's dynamic processes. The statue is about 37 cm tall and weighs 2 kilograms.

The trophy was created by the artist Uwe Hauenfels. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts with F. X. Ölzant and graduating with a top-class degree in 1991, Uwe Hauenfels showed his work regularly at individual and group exhibitions. From 1993, he was a freelance sculptor. Metal is the material that dominated the sculptures of Uwe Hauenfels, who grew up in an ironworking region and, after spending some years in Vienna and abroad, in 1996 set up his studio in Waidhofen/Ybbs.

Among other prizes, Uwe Hauenfels was given a Recognition Award by the state of Lower Austria in 2006. His works have been purchased for private and public collections.

After a long battle against serious illness, the artist Uwe Hauenfels died on 10/5/2016.

State Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner and State Minister Ludwig Schleritzko

"Cross-border health care is another milestone in bringing European regions closer together. The Healthy Living Prize helps promote European regional development by serving as an important vehicle for the sharing of ideas and experience. With this award, we are for the first time turning the spotlight not only on Austrian regional and national projects, but also on projects from elsewhere in Europe that encourage people to be more aware of their own health."

The award

The bronze "Hygieia" trophy is 37 cm tall and weighs 2 kilograms. It represents the Greek goddess of health, cleanliness and hygiene.

Photo of Hygieia: Uwe Hauenfels