Towards a Man-Made Blue Zone in the Northern Netherlands, Are you in?

Tuesday 5 January 2016

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The North must be the First Man-Made BlueZone of the world. That is the ambition of Daan Bultje, director of the Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN). The term Blue Zone comes from National Geographic. In 2004 research was carried out into areas where people are extremely old. These areas have been named a Blue Zone.

The Northern Netherlands is currently far from being a Blue Zone. People living in the North die - on average - a few years younger than people in the "Randstad". In the north we have a relatively large number of people who smoke and drink too much. Next to that, the population in the northern Netherlands is relatively old. This led to the creation of HANNN several years ago. Ageing became a priority in the North.

The food industry has indicated to make healthier products and employers launch sports and exercise programs. Difficult is that especially fit and slim people want to participate, says Bultje. He believes it is an art to develop programs where everyone participates. In addition; much is expected of the program Health Literacy. According HANNN there is a lack of knowledge in the field of health. This program aims to change that

>  Read here the article in Dagblad van het Noorden [DUTCH]
>  Go to website HANNN




Why this ambition?


  • Life expectancy in the Northern Netherlands is below the national average due to an unhealthy lifestyle (increase indiseases like obesity, cancer, COPD, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes) .
  • Population of the Northern Netherlands is ageing rapidly, population growth is at a virtual standstill.
  • Age related (chronic) illnesses rise.
  • Due to the demographic change a shortage of healthcare professionals will arise.
  • These challenges offer excellent societal and economic opportunities in the field of Healthy Ageing


How to realize?

     Innovative housing

  • Houses of the future for multiple generations
  • ICT-driven excellent care
  • Innovative concepts of care in the region
  • E-health, M-health, Telecare, 5G
  • Big Data (ERCET)

     Healthy Lifestyle

  • Health Literacy
  • Healthy Diets with regional food industry
  • Lifestyle adaptations through quantified self technology

     Healthy Societal networks

  • Grip & Glans
  • Evaluation via LifeLines, world’s largest and deepest population study.