The Dutch adult population currently spends sitting 9 h/day (RIVM, 2017), making the Netherlands the leading "sitting country" in Europe (EU, 2018). The detrimental health effects of this sedentary lifestyle are substantial, leading to an increased risk for future development of non-communicable diseases. Although many initiatives have targeted this lifestyle in Dutch population, largely focused on promoting exercise, prevalence of sedentary behavior did not decrease (Volksgezondheid, 2018). This emphasizes the need for a different strategy, potentially steering away from the traditional approach that solely aims to increase levels of exercise training. The Space2Move project aims to investigate, develop and promote an alternative, novel approach, based on built environment (BE) strategies, to "build" low-intensity physical activity (walking and cycling) in our environment and to "seduce" sedentary individuals to start walking and cycling at (sub)conscious level in daily living. The Arnhem-Nijmegen region will serve as a pilot region. This novel approach will target sedentary subjects (ca. 50% of the Dutch population) to perform 10-20 min/day of low physical activity, which will have significant impact on health.
To achieve these goals we have developed a project approach that consists of research projects, experimentation in pilot projects and the development of novel public private partnership arrangements. The research projects will: 1) analyze and reveal subject-related and BE factors that help or hamper sedentary individuals to become physical active and include low-intensity physical activities in their daily lives and 2) identify viable BE interventions to successfully increase low-intensity physical activity. 3) Additionally, we will take the initiative to investigate possibilities to develop a NL individual health / BE platform, by testing a prototype regional BE/health data platform in a number of related pilot studies. 4) In a number of local experiments we will use a trial and error approach to test and demonstrate the impact of selected viable BE interventions on physical activity level and cardio-metabolic risk. 5) And finally, we will explore novel public private partnership arrangements that may support more "inclusive" decision-making and investments in "healthy" built environments.
Regional public and private stakeholders (Province of Gelderland, cities of Nijmegen and Arnhem, GGD Gelderland Zuid, housing corporations Talis and Vivare, BPD, ESRI Nederland, The Economic Board, Health Valley, Staatsbosbeheer) participate with the research team (Radboud University, Radboudumc and Bureau UUM) in a regional strategy that directly connects the Space2Move project with on-going and planned relevant pilot projects for experimentation, provides crucial data on target groups, and helps to implement a community-based user groups strategy, by implementing "living labs" in participating neighborhoods and inviting subjects in our target groups to participate in experiments.
The ultimate project goal is to propose realistic and effective BE-related location-specific policies, interventions and design principles - as part of new local and regional spatial visions, stimulating low-intensity physical activity for sedentary individuals. As a unique Dutch "flavour" to the project, low-intensity physical activity includes both walking and cycling. The projects and experiments will result in suggestions for location-specific BE interventions (in pilot projects) and more general BE (design) guidelines.
By implementing these novel strategies and inviting individuals in the target groups in experiments and pilot projects, we aim to directly increase the number of people in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region that meets the physical activity guidelines. By developing concrete BE guidelines and interventions and taking the initiative for a regional public and private stakeholders platform, we aim for a long-term impact of the Space2Move project, beyond the project horizon. While Space2Move will have a regional focus and testing and exp