Getting enough exercise is important for a good physical and mental health. It reduces the chances of chronic diseases and dementia. Exercise also plays an important role in child development and healthy ageing. We are investing in research and innovation to increase the amount of exercise people take in the Netherlands.

Children and exercise

Nearly half of Dutch children exercise too little. As a result of this, their motor skills deteriorate and obesity is on the increase among children. Some of the factors contributing to this are digitalisation, urbanisation and too few safe play areas. With the programme MOOI in Beweging (mission driven research and innovation sports en exercise) we are looking for solutions to help children and their parents exercise skilfully from an early age.

Exercise in the neighbourhood

Municipalities play an important role in improving their residents' health and reducing health inequalities between neighbourhoods. Researchers are developing useful knowledge for municipalities to create opportunities in neighbourhoods for improved health. There are a variety of ways that municipalities can realise this.

Living labs Sport and Exercise

Municipalities are increasingly deploying local innovators, connectors and also residents to get people to exercise more. They often do that with living labs Sport and Exercise. We fund these labs together with Sportinnovator. These labs seek innovations and test these directly in practice as well. 

Recognised interventions

With the help of a preventative municipal policy, municipalities can encourage the use of recognised interventions and advance a broad learning approach in municipal prevention projects. For example, the Dutch regions IJsselland and the Achterhoek focus on physical exercise and being socially active because this contributes to health in the broadest sense. In their project, they literally and metaphorically mobilise vulnerable residents, such as the elderly. 

Exercise in care settings

It is well-known that daily exercise and sport are good for health. That also applies to patients. It is important to be as fit as possible before and certainly after the treatment. However, exercise and sport are not yet an integral part of care and treatment. With MOOI in Beweging we are trying to change this.

Exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle reduces the chances of diseases and chronic illnesses. We identify which knowledge about lifestyle is still needed and make funding available to investigate this. With this approach, we strengthen integral collaboration, enable researchers to develop knowledge and encourage professionals to implement that knowledge in practice.

Reducing obesity

Collaboration and an integral approach are particularly important when it comes to reducing obesity. It is a complex problem. Research provides new insights and knowledge to tackle obesity and to encourage a healthy lifestyle. This ranges from adopting long-term healthy behaviours to a healthy diet and exercise. 

Healthy living environment

Can municipalities encourage their residents to exercise more often and more actively by making specific changes to the physical environment? And if that is the case, then what health effects does this have? Research can reveal, for example, which interventions have been shown to work when it comes to encouraging exercise behaviour in the neighbourhood

Combined lifestyle intervention

The basic health insurance reimburses the combined lifestyle intervention. This combination of healthier eating, more exercise and individual coaching ensures behavioural changes and achieving a healthy lifestyle. The intervention is recognised by the RIVM Centre for Healthy Living


We strive to make the Netherlands a country where sport and exercise are accessible always and everywhere for everyone. And, of course, it is important that sport is also fun, safe and inclusive. We realise these goals by contributing to knowledge development and strengthening participation in sports activities and exercise. 

Sport and active exercise: for everyone at any level

Innovative developments play a crucial role in making sport and exercise accessible, enjoyable and safer for each resident of the Netherlands. We are working on sport innovation together with innovators, entrepreneurs, municipalities, and sports organisations. Our primary goal is to ensure that every resident of the Netherlands can enjoy sport and exercise throughout their lives. We would like to share a number of projects supported by Sportinnovator that contribute to a more inclusive, accessible and safer sports climate. Read more about sport and active exercise: everyone at every level (in Dutch)

Relevant articles

This is how sport and exercise can contribute to prevention

Exercise contributes to a healthy lifestyle. And with this, it plays an important role in prevention. How can sport and exercise positively influence collective prevention?

https://www.allesoversport.nl/thema/beweegstimulering/dit-is-de-rol-van-sport-en-bewegen-bij-preventie/ (in Dutch)

Encouraging more and better exercise at school and in its environment

School is the number one place to ensure that children get enough good exercise in a structured manner. This requires a structural collaboration both within and outside of the school. A manual for professionals has been developed to encourage local collaboration on this theme. https://www.kenniscentrumsportenbewegen.nl/producten/beter-bewegen-school-omgeving/ (in Dutch)

Global status report on physical activity 2022

Almost 500 million people worldwide will develop heart diseases, obesity, diabetes or other welfare diseases due to a lack of exercise, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In their 'Global status report on physical activity 2022', they emphasise that countries need to more rapidly and better focus on policy that helps people to exercise more.


Games can help in mobilising older people

Games are increasingly used to make young people physically active. Are games also suitable for other target groups? The short answer is: yes. For years, care professionals have been trying to get older people to exercise more. This article in allesoversport.nl (in Dutch) provides more insight into, among other things, the effectiveness of exercise games in encouraging people aged 65 years and over to exercise.

https://www.allesoversport.nl/thema/gezonde-leefstijl/zo-kunnen-games-ouderen-in-beweging-brengen/ (in Dutch)