15/3/23 By Hilde Tuinen (Health Scientist) and Rahul Gannamani, M.D. (Ancora Founder and Head of Health Engagement)

Connecting people with local health initiatives

We are introducing a new web page for people to connect with local health and wellbeing activities such as walking clubs, yoga classes or fitness groups.

Across the Netherlands, the number of people struggling with lifestyle or weight-related health conditions is rising steadily. In fact, more than 3 million people are currently eligible to participate in a combined lifestyle intervention (GLI), fully reimbursable through their health insurance. But only 1% of this audience has enrolled in a GLI program so far.

That is something we aim to change with the launch of our digitally supported GLI program called SLIMMER powered by Ancora. Our goal is to make an impactful lifestyle program appealing and accessible to a broader section of the population.

Going local

Research shows that local health initiatives play a vital role in helping people enjoy a healthy lifestyle. For GLI participants, it is motivating to connect with likeminded people. What’s more, the social interaction is beneficial for mental wellbeing.

Yet it’s not always easy for people to know what’s on offer locally. Or the activities they hear about don’t sound appealing. For example, somebody who is overweight is unlikely to want to enroll in a mountain biking club. But they might be willing to try a walking group if they knew about it.

That is what led us to build a ‘one stop shop’ web page for people to discover a wide range of health activities happening in their local area, covering the provinces and main cities of the Netherlands.

A wide range of activities

To make an inventory of local health initiatives across the Netherlands, we researched information online. We spoke with GLI coaches, municipalities, general practitioners and neighborhood sports coaches. From our research, we discovered that many local health initiatives are only advertised through word of mouth. Our web page will help broaden their audience.

With the launch of this page, we are taking an important step to make local activities more accessible, forging ties between GLI participants and their local initiatives. We think people will be inspired by the diversity of initiatives we have curated. From walking groups to tai chi classes to cookery clubs, there is something that will appeal to all interests and age groups.

Free and easy to access

The page is open to everybody, but is especially geared towards participants in our SLIMMER powered by Ancora program, who are informed by their coach about activities that could match their interests. The responsibility of registering for the activity and taking the next steps lies with participants themselves.

To start with, we mainly cover the municipalities with active registrations in our GLI program, and we aim to cover the whole of the Netherlands over the year ahead. We know there is so much happening out there, and we want to capture it! With that in mind, we invite anyone who would like to have their local activities featured on the page to contact us.


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