Embrace Exercise: A Call to Action
Exercise it’s a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. In the Netherlands, however, the statistics are concerning. Only 44% of Dutch people meet the exercise guidelines, a figure that’s dwindling.
Marjolein Bolhuis-Eijsvogel, temporary chairman of the Netherlands Sports Council, puts it bluntly: “We no longer have time to lose to exercise more if we want to give Dutch people a longer healthy life. A change of course is needed in the short term. Only 44% of Dutch people meet the exercise guidelines and that share is becoming increasingly smaller. Moreover, we are European sitting champions. So we’re moving backwards. This leads to 5,800 premature deaths per year and costs 2.7 billion euros in healthcare expenditure every year.”
The NLsportraad has sounded the alarm, urging the Dutch government to prioritize exercise as a fundamental aspect of daily life. Their advice, titled ‘Netherlands, get up! Make sufficient exercise a given every day’, advocates for a comprehensive approach involving various sectors of society.
A State Secretary for Exercise and Sports
Central to the NLsportraad’s recommendations is the appointment of a State Secretary for Exercise and Sports. This official would spearhead a coordinated effort across ministries to develop a long-term strategy for promoting daily exercise. By involving multiple government departments, including health, education, and urban planning, a holistic approach can be adopted to tackle the issue at its core.
A Collective Responsibility
Exercise shouldn’t be viewed as solely a personal choice but as a collective responsibility. In a society where economic growth and technological advancements often discourage physical activity, structural changes are imperative. The NLsportraad emphasizes the need for collaboration between government, businesses, civil society, and citizens to create an environment conducive to exercise.
Coalitions for Change
To make exercise more accessible, the NLsportraad advocates for the formation of coalitions involving various stakeholders. These coalitions would assess barriers to exercise in different settings such as workplaces, healthcare facilities, schools, and urban spaces. By working together, these entities can implement initiatives that integrate exercise into daily routines.
Incentives for Action
Beyond providing information, the NLsportraad proposes utilizing incentives to promote exercise. This includes initiatives like car-free streets, expanded pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and creating ample play spaces in childcare centers.
Look for the advice Netherlands, get up! and more information about the NLsportraad at https://www.nederlandse-sportraad.nl/