Promoting physical activity with people in different places--a Dutch perspective

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This paper describes five recent Dutch studies of the effectiveness of physical activity interventions carried out in diverse settings: general practice (GP), aged care facilities, and workplaces. The stage-based physical activity counselling carried out in the GP setting demonstrated a beneficial effect on the determinants of physical activity, but did not show any additional effect on physical activity behaviour, compared with standard physical activity advice. In contrast, the stage-based intervention through the workplace was effective in increasing physical activity, due mostly to an increase in vigorous-intensity activities. In the aged care setting, functional-skills training alone or in combination with resistance training showed functional improvement only in participants with high participation rates. Functional-skills training appeared to be more feasible than resistance training in this population of frail elderly. The two studies which aimed to promote earlier return-to-work among workers with sick leave due to non-specific low back pain also showed promising results. As a result, it was recommended that occupational physicians (OP) should refer workers with low back pain in the subacute phase of their sick leave to a low intensity intervention consisting of short meetings and exercises aimed at changing behaviour, and that the OPs contact other health care providers (GPs and physiotherapists) about the treatment strategy. Together, the results of these five Dutch studies suggest that it is feasible to successfully promote physical activity to groups of people in diverse places, with benefits in terms of both prevention and management of chronic disease and injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006

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