There is an old expression in Dutch: to prevent is better than to cure. And what applies for most old expressions, also applies for this one: it’s still relevant in modern times. And I think it will stay relevant when we consider the future of health.
Let’s think about 2020. We expect to need more – 480.000 extra – healthcare professionals to provide care. Given the expectations that the working population will decrease over the next years, we already know there will be a large problem by then. One ‘simple’ solution to that problem is to prevent more people from getting ill. We are not able to cure all ill people, not even in 2020, but if we invest more in prevention, probably (and hopefully) less people will become ill.
One of the main threats of healthcare is overweight. The Netherlands Institute for Sport and Physical Activity (NISB) calculated that the adults in our country have a combined overweight of 70 million kilo. And we all know by now that people with overweight are high-risk for several diseases, like diabetes (type 2), certain types of cancer or cardiovascular diseases. Besides that, overweight influences the mental condition and can lead to depression.
So if you want to prevent people from developing those diseases, you have to get people to move and exercise. That’s also why it is important to develop projects and interventions to help and stimulate people to have more physical activities and get an active lifestyle. An active lifestyle is good for both your physical and mental condition. That’s why I like this initiative: it’s good for your physical condition, it makes you smile, it activates you and it’s also good for your mental condition. So join and take a step towards good health, for now, but also for a healthier 2020!
A blog by Annemieke Bol