Physical activity and health

Physically active people tend to have fewer health problems. The government therefore encourages people to increase their levels of physical activity and take up sport.

National Prevention Programme (NPP)

The National Prevention Programme ‘Everything is Health’ promotes healthier lifestyles, which includes taking enough exercise. The sports sector can help to achieve this by providing a wide range of sports and exercise programmes. The NPP, which was launched in February 2014 and will run to the end of 2016, is a collaboration between central government, the sports sector, municipalities, businesses, care providers and civil society organisations.

30 minutes of daily exercise for good health

The Dutch physical activity guidelines indicate how much physical activity people need for good health. Adults need to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day for at least five days a week. They can meet this target by playing sport, or by walking, cycling or doing strenuous household chores.

The Netherlands Institute for Sport and Physical Activity has raised public awareness of the guidelines through government-funded campaigns.

Preventing injuries

Safety in sport means minimising the risk of injury. This also reduces sickness absence and medical costs. The government therefore encourages organisations to provide information about preventing sports injuries.

In 2016 the Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport will launch a sports injury prevention programme. It will aim to reduce the number of sports injuries, by:

  • focusing on sports with the highest number of injuries, such as football and running;
  • improving the effectiveness of sports injury prevention.

Sports medicine

Sports medicine received official recognition as a medical specialism on 1 July 2014. Sports medicine physician is now a regulated professional title with consultant status under the terms of the Healthcare Professions Act (BIG). Only physicians on the specialty register of sports medicine physicians may bear this title.