Centre of Expertise Health Innovation

Research Group Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment

Getting enough exercise and eating a healthy diet are both equally important for good health. This is common knowledge. Yet many children and young people in the Netherlands still lead an unhealthy lifestyle. This has consequences, both personal and social. So how do you prevent this? Or, more precisely, how can you teach children to start moving more - and keep moving? And how can you encourage young people to make healthier food choices?

2019 Annual report (pdf)
About the research group

Mission

The research group focuses on promoting a healthy lifestyle among young people (ages 4-24 years) in the Haaglanden region by working together with current and future professionals and the target group to develop, evaluate and implement innovative products and programmes and services that promote physical activity and healthy food choices.

Vision

The research groups aims to work to promote a healthy lifestyle among young people ages 4 to 24 years through sustainable behaviour change. This behaviour change is achieved by converting knowledge about movement, diet, behaviour change, technology, interaction design and pedagogy into innovative products and programmes and services that consciously and/or subconsciously inspire children and young people to lead a health lifestyle. These efforts are based on a belief in the power of seduction and implicit learning, alongside persuasion and explicit learning. The innovations are integrally based on the desires, needs and perceptions of the target group and stakeholders. We work in a demand-driven and practice-oriented manner. That is why the research group works together closely with professionals in the field and the degree programmes and answers research questions originating directly from the professional field.

About the professor

dr. Sanne de Vries

Sanne graduated with a degree in Human Movement Sciences and Epidemiology from the VU University Amsterdam. From 2000 to 2013, she worked as a researcher and project leader at TNO. Sanne earned her PhD from the VU University Amsterdam in 2009 in Social Medicine with a thesis entitled 'Activity-friendly neighbourhoods for children'. Sanne has been involved in more than 75 research projects involving young people, movement and health and has published more than 200 scientific reports. Her primary focus is on the role of the physical environment in movement behaviour, physical education and ‘nudging’, as well as the assessment of physical activity in young people.

06 - 46 87 68 52
s.i.devries@hhs.nl

Sanne de Vries’s additional positions 

  • Member of the Interventions Recognition Committee, sub-committee 5, Sports Management 
  •  Chair of the SIA Platform of Lecturers; Sports Management
  • Member of the Youth Health Care Directive on Posture and Exercise
  • Guest Editor 
Projects

Projects

Playful Exertion Interfaces

Playful Exertion Interfaces

Playful interactive technology such as 'exertion games' can be helpful in getting children to exercise. These interfaces, which use the entire human body, are growing in popularity. Take the piano stairs in an underground metro station, for example, or the Nintendo Wii. Previous research has shown that these interfaces also offer significant benefits such as encouraging social interaction. However, consciously using playful interactive technology requires more knowledge about its design and application.
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Addressing childhood obesity with digital technology (Blended Care – Better Care)

Addressing childhood obesity with digital technology (Blended Care – Better Care)

The 'Blended Care – Better Care' project applies a combination of offline and online care in helping overweight children adopt a healthier lifestyle. The application of digital technology offers many possibilities. Consider an informative app with game elements, for instance, that assists and motivates the child and their parents in between consultations to exercise more and eat more healthily. The Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment research group is researching the optimum way for such an application to work and how it fits into the regular lifestyle interventions.
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Food Boost Challenge: healthy eating for and by young people

Food Boost Challenge: healthy eating for and by young people

Young Dutch people do not eat enough fruit and vegetables. That is a concern because their unhealthy eating patterns increase the risk of becoming overweight or obese. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer and diabetes. But how do you encourage young people to eat more fruit and vegetables? Based on research by the Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment Research Group among preparatory secondary vocational education and senior secondary vocational education pupils, the young people themselves will come up with solutions in the Food Boost Challenge.
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Innovations in sport and exercise in the SportLab

Innovations in sport and exercise in the SportLab

The SportLab is a practical environment (‘field lab’) at the Zuiderpark Sports Campus. At the SportLab, researchers are working on innovations and research to help people exercise more and better and to improve sports performances. 
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Maintaining vitality with innovative technology (Medical Delta Living Lab VIT for life)

Maintaining vitality with innovative technology (Medical Delta Living Lab VIT for life)

People with vitality who – literally and figuratively – feel comfortable in their own skin use less healthcare. Increasing vitality by eating healthily and getting enough exercise has a positive effect on people and the healthcare system. In Medical Delta Living Lab VIT for life, the Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment Research Group and its partners are researching how technology can support improving vitality.
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A healthier THUAS (Healthy@HHS)

A healthier THUAS (Healthy@HHS)

How can The Hague University of Applied Sciences become a healthy university and help its students and staff members at school and at work to lead and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle? Several research groups, degree programmes and service departments are working together in the project Healthy@HHS to answer that question. The research will lead to innovative projects and programmes that will help to improve the health of students and staff members. 
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Inclusive exercise during PE (DIPPE project)

Inclusive exercise during PE (DIPPE project)

An increasing number of children at primary schools have a physical and/or sensory impairment, behavioural issues, are overweight or have a motor skill delay. There is much more diversity in the gym and it is essential that teachers and children can recognise and understand individual differences. The Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment Research Group researches possibilities to support (subject) teachers in inclusive physical education. The project is called ‘Disentangling Inclusion in Primary Physical Education’ (DIPPE). This is an international project in which eight European countries participate.
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Start (V)aardig

Start (V)aardig

Start (V)aardig is a study on the physical literacy of preschoolers. After all, children who learn to exercise well at an early age and enjoy it, often develop an active lifestyle. Neighbourhood sport coaches can play a significant role in efficiently and effectively encouraging the motor skills of preschoolers. Yet they could use some additional knowledge to work with this target group. The Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment Research Group is developing a toolbox in collaboration with 10 organisations from the sport and exercise sector.
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Perceptual competence: ‘The eye of the master’

Perceptual competence: ‘The eye of the master’

You should expect a PE teacher to be skilled at observing the exercise activities of pupils. This perceptual competence is important to help effectively pupils and provide a reliable assessment. Lecturers and teachers of Physical Education (PE) question whether the perceptual competence is adequate in practice and how this can be deliberately practised. The Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment research group is conducting research to answer these questions.
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Sport and Exercise Professor Platform

Sport and Exercise Professor Platform

The Sport and Exercise professor platform connects professors so they can exchange knowledge and collaborate. This leads to the efficient and effective development and use of knowledge. The collaboration also increases the quality and applicability of the sport research. Professors from all sport universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands form the core of the platform. Together, they want to increase the social impact of sport management research.
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Learning while moving on the exercise floor

Learning while moving on the exercise floor

Modern technology enables children to exercise more, improve their motor skills and teach them at the same time. Since 2018, the Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment Research Group has been working with Springlab, a business focused on physical education. They developed an exercise floor with various educational games for children. The research group studies the best way to use the exercise floor and how to further develop this tool.
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A healthy lifestyle for senior secondary vocational education (MBO) students, made by them, with 'Healthy by Design’

A healthy lifestyle for senior secondary vocational education (MBO) students, made by them, with 'Healthy by Design’

Healthy by Design is a project for senior secondary vocational education students to let them work on their lifestyle. There are many good initiatives for healthier living, but senior secondary vocational education students are rarely involved in them. Together with a number of partners, the Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment research group has developed and evaluated a lifestyle intervention for and by senior secondary vocational education (MBO) students.
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Vitality and health from young to old (Vitale Delta)

Vitality and health from young to old (Vitale Delta)

Vitality and health from young to old is an important theme for the Delta region of Leiden, The Hague and Rotterdam. The aging population and increased burden on care are a cause for concern. The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Leiden and Inholland University of Applied Sciences are working together to share knowledge and skills in the research programme ‘Vitale Delta’. They want to undertake steps to strengthen people’s resilience and ownership and create a healthy environment for residents in the region. 
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Current

Blog

Blogs of a researcher

Conducting the research. Most students find it ‘boring. And difficult’. In this monthly blog I will share with you my experiences as a researcher. What challenges I encounter and how I resolve these issues. I will show you that res...

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Contact
dr. Sanne de Vries
Professor Healthy Lifestyle in a Supporting Environment
s.i.devries@hhs.nl