customer satisfaction


The Netherlands is European sitting champion: How do you get your patient moving?

Maybe you saw it in big headlines in the newspaper a while ago: ‘The Netherlands is the European sitting champion’. Research by TNO has shown that 26% of Dutch people over the age of 15 sit more than 8.5 hours a day. This makes the Netherlands head and shoulders above the other European countries.

One of the risk factors for a chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes is physical inactivity. So you wouldn’t want to be a European champion in this! Movement is important. Both preventatively and for people who already have diabetes. Among other things, it increases insulin sensitivity, helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, reduces stress, provides more energy, can improve sleep quality and also the postprandial glucose response.

But how do you get your patient moving?

Here are a number of steps that can help you get your patient moving:

  1. Information: inform your patient about the benefits of exercise for type 2 diabetes and how this can improve his situation.
  2. Make it fun: exercise is not synonymous with going to the gym. Dancing, cycling, gardening, walking, swimming, housework, everything is possible! “What made your patient happy as a child?”
  3. Realistic goals: Have the patient set small, achievable goals that match their preferences and abilities (e.g., experience and strengths). Taking the stairs more often at work, getting off the bus stop earlier or holding meetings while standing are also goals that lead to more exercise and less sitting still.
  4. Barriers: identify the barriers together (e.g. lack of time, motivation, physical limitations, etc.) and help your patient to find solutions. How can it become a routine?
  5. Social support and involvement: exercising together is more fun! Are there group lessons or walking groups in the area or can your patient do something together with family, friends or colleagues?
  6. Follow-up: regularly discuss with the patient whether he has succeeded in achieving his exercise goals, encourage and give compliments and recognition for achieved goals.
  7. Technology: Recommend using a pedometer, smartwatch or an app like Clear to track activity and see the effect.
  8. Professionals: work together with physiotherapists, personal trainers or other experts in the field of (personal) exercise programs.


Let’s all try to get more active – it’s not just our patients who make us European champions – and encourage our patients to do so too!