Activities and Interventions -

Activities and Interventions –

Sports and exercise help keep older people fit and energetic. It makes them self-reliant for longer and less dependent on care. It also helps strengthen social networks and stimulates social engagement. Research shows that adequate exercise reduces the risk of weakness. This relates to:

  • Physical weakness (restrictions in physical performance)
  • Cognitive impairment (memory and flexibility)
  • Social Weakness (Loneliness)
  • Psychological weakness (depression)

For more background information, view the factsheet People over 65: social developments and exercise.

Recognized Exercise Interventions

In recent years, many different sports interventions for older adults have been developed based on research and practice. The database identified sports and exercise interventions Helps identify effective exercise interventions for the intended target and target group. Interventions were evaluated for feasibility in practice, scientific proof, and for the highest level of recognition, as well as for efficacy.

recognition levels

All interventions that are recognized can be easily implemented. We distinguish between three levels of recognition:

  1. Good Description: There is a good description of the objectives, target group, approach and preconditions.
  2. Well established: meets the requirements of the previous level. It also has good substantiation through theory, models or research.
  3. Effective: Meets the requirements of previous levels. Efficacy has also been demonstrated in theory and practice.

Recognized exercise interventions for seniors

OldStars Sport (level well described)

Joining an association and sports and exercise team can ensure that seniors participate (again) in the community. With modified sports forms in sports federations Old Stars Sports Maintaining access to sports and making it intuitive again for older adults who thought they could or no longer wanted to do so. Want to know more about OldStars Sport? show this Video of the Volunteer Football Course at Oldstars Walking.

More exercise for the elderly (level well-described)

More exercises for the elderly (MBvO) focuses on older adults living independently (over 65 years of age) and older adults living in institutional care. The goal of the MBvO is to improve physical, psychological and social performance by allowing seniors to participate weekly in supervised group lessons. As a result, independence, self-reliance and quality of life can be increased.

Body-Mind Fit with Aikido (a well-described level)

Body-Mind-Fit with Aikido (BMF Program) is physical training aimed at reducing (perceived) weakness in the elderly. In order to be able to make a good contribution to this, it is important that the BMF program is presented by experts. The instructors in the BMF program are recognized aikido teachers, who are at least fifty years old and have a connection to the target group.

Moves (level is well described)

Move Consists of outdoor exercise classes in groups provided by a physiotherapist or physiotherapist from Minsendyk/Cesar. A therapist or physiotherapist guides participants in (running) walking and various exercises aimed at strengthening the muscles of the entire body, coordination and balance. Having fun in motion is key.

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Reflection and practice (level well supported)

Thinking and working Focuses on increasing social contacts and therefore the social network of people over 60 years of age. A bridge is a way to connect people to each other. Reflection and practice provides participants with a network, structure with weekly meetings and opportunities for social activity.

Vitality Club (well-proven level)

The Vitality Club It is an exercise group for over-65s that uses peers as coaches (peer coaches). The exercise group is located in the neighborhood and makes use of the public space. Thanks to peer coaches and public spaces, exercise groups are accessible, cheap, and accessible to everyone. The exercise group participants organize the exercise activities themselves and create an accessible social network in the neighbourhood.

GoldenSports (a well-proven level)

Golden Sports Foundation Focuses on outdoor sports together for people over 55 years old. GoldenSports encourages seniors to exercise more, so they stay healthy longer and meet their peers in the area. Important elements are outdoor sports and exercise, suitable for every level, under expert supervision, a lot of variation in training, affordability and volunteers who play an important role in the organization.

Every step counts (level well supported)

Every step counts It is a low-threshold walking training program for people over 55 years of age, where building status and stimulating social contacts are key. When recruiting participants, the focus is on older adults who do not exercise adequately and/or who do not or barely participate in society. With different entry levels and personal development plans, the intervention is also suitable for athletic people aged 55 and over. Workout program developed by sports.

Suitable step (well-proven level)

fit step It is a three-month walking program. With the guidance of recognized hiking instructors, beginner hikers are ready to achieve an end goal. For example, to cover a certain distance during an event. Walking instructors ensure a responsible structure of the training session. During training, participants work under professional supervision on technique and condition in an injury conscious and safe manner. An appropriate follow-up offer is given after the walking program has ended.

Social Vitality (First Indicator Level of Effectiveness)

socially vital It is a program for seniors who live independently with a low education and/or income, aged 60-85, who are insufficiently physically active, suffer from loneliness and have little flexibility to deal with aging. The goal of Social Vital is to promote healthy aging for the target group. To achieve this, the focus is on (1) enhancing the physical condition of the elderly, (2) developing resilience to deal with the effects of aging and (3) having the social skills to manage social affairs to make connections.

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Active Plus (good evidence of efficacy)

Active Plus It is a counseling program specifically designed to maintain and enhance the training behavior of over-50s. Participants receive personalized advice according to a consistent pattern, both in writing and online. This makes them aware of their movement. The intervention has a written and digital variant and can add information about local sports and exercise options to tailored advice.

Coach2Move (strong indicator level of effectiveness)

Coach2Move It is an integrated approach for physiotherapists to frail elderly people who live at home. Coach2Move focuses on the obstacles participants face to being active and on techniques to influence behavior to enhance self-management and self-reliance.

Recognized Fall Prevention Programs

In addition to recognized exercise interventions, there are also recognized interventions that focus specifically on fall prevention in older adults:

Other interventions and activities

Exercise with a prescription

Most people know that exercise is good for their health, but many don’t. When people come to their GP or Assistant GP (POH) practice for their health, some of them can be motivated to move. Through prescription exercise, the health care system refers patients to exercise groups with moderately intense activity with trained athletic leaders.

Well-being by prescription

The goal of prescription wellbeing is to reduce the psychosocial complaints of people who visit a GP. Welfare organizations and primary care facilities develop local welfare arrangements, to which people are referred. These consist of interventions that increase well-being, such as creative or sports activities and volunteer work.


SCALA is an athletic stimulation strategy for older adults (55-85 years old) who have a chronic condition or physical disability, and who do not engage in physical activity or have insufficient physical activity. Implementation of the SCALA program uses a standard four-part protocol: a personalized door-to-door approach for older adults, a fitness test, and a program of versatile exercise and self-management skills (ZEMBLA) to promote behavioral maintenance.


SMALL is a program to promote physical activity for seniors (55-85 years old) who are not physically active or have insufficient physical activity. SMALL is organized locally so that seniors can exercise in their neighborhood or neighborhood. SMALL is an alternative to the GALM project in small municipalities and municipalities with many small centers.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a Chinese art of exercise that has been studied for its effectiveness and usefulness in the elderly. In a large study of more than 700 older adults, conducted in Australia, tai chi was found to actually reduce falls. An important benefit, because falls in the elderly often come with (serious) damage such as hip fractures. comparable Study with more than 200 seniors in Americashowed a similar positive effect on the risk of falls.

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Sports Village: vital centers and neighborhoods

The Sportdorp project from the province of Groningen has been developed at the national level in cores and neighbourhoods. Through the intervention of Cores and Vital Neighborhoods, 12 regional sports organizations, united in Sportkracht12, want to improve the quality of life in villages, micro-centres, neighborhoods and neighbourhoods. In a lively center or neighborhood, residents and sports providers play a leading role. Based on their needs and ideas, an innovative display of sports and exercise is created near people. The new sports offer is easily accessible in the form of flexible activities, modules and membership.


The Fit4Life Aerobics Park from Iceland It is a low-threshold method of mobilizing the elderly. The exercise park consists of equipment, adapted to the target group, and clearly marked. Through equipment exercises, participants work on balance, coordination, strength, endurance, and flexibility. Under the supervision of a professional, but also individually, the elderly begin to work. In addition to the positive physical effects, the exercise garden also contributes to the interaction between the participants. This has a positive effect on social contacts.

Active and fit, the elderly navigate the Olga Commander Square

Yalp and Olga Commandeur work together to move the elderly. Across the Netherlands, Olga Commandeur, a vitality coach known as a former top athlete and from the TV show Nederland in Beweging, presents an exercise program on Yalp machines. It also trains local trainers to encourage older people to exercise more.


Cycling can be done in many ways (touring, biking, mountain biking, tandem cycling) and can be done individually or in groups. The cyclists federation It represents the interests of 13.5 million cyclists. On their website, seniors can find information about the technical side of the bike, cycling capabilities, facts and figures. Other sources of inspiration:

to walk

Walking is an accessible and versatile way to exercise, such as with fit for walkingAnd the HikingAnd the Nordic Walkor the four days evening. The Koninklijke Wandelbond Nederland (KNWB) trains walking instructors to guide groups. on me Hiking. nl Seniors find plenty of information about organized hikes, excursions, and news about hiking. He’s here too National Walking Program: An overview of walking tours organized by the KNWB Walking Associations. There is plenty of information about walking trails, routes, city walks, pilgrimages, or themed trails. Inspirational overview:

More information about sports and exercise interventions?

Are you looking for an approach that will help you achieve your goals? In the Sports Intervention and Exercise Database In the Sports and Exercise Knowledge Center, you will find methods that colleagues in the country have already used with success.

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