Lifestyle factors are an important determinant of health. The prevalence of unhealthy lifestyle behaviours is high, most notably low physical activity and poor nutrition (e.g. low fruit and vegetable consumption and high saturated fat intake). In the Netherlands, 56% engage in sufficient physical activity, that is at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity on at least five days per week. Less than 10% of the young adults have a daily intake of at least 200 grams of fruit and 200 grams of vegetables. An estimated 4.1% of the burden of disease can be assigned to physical inactivity, 2.4% to insufficient fruit intake, and 1.4% to insufficient vegetable intake. The imbalance between physical activity and nutrition is an important cause of overweight and obesity, which in turn is an important risk factor for chronic diseases. Individuals with overweight or obesity loose on average respectively 2.1 and 5.1 healthy life years, which is 0.9 and 0.6 healthy life years on population level.2 Because an unhealthy lifestyle is a major modifiable risk factor, lifestyle behaviour changes are of great importance. Therefore, a whole range of health promotion initiatives aimed at a healthy lifestyle is offered.

Erasmus MC Rotterdam, NWO
A. Burdorf (Alex)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Robroek, S. (2011, October 14). Workplace health promotion: participation and effects. Retrieved from