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The Dutch are very proud to be known as open-minded people. We don’t feel uncomfortable talking about ribald things as sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. However, the Netherlands are much more than just that.
During the Dutch Golden Age, trade, science and art from Holland were among the most acclaimed in the world. The VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie/United East Indies Company) was an innovative company with international trade in many countries all over the world. Merchants explored the world and were searching for bright spots for successful trading.
Nowadays, the VSG (Vereniging voor Sportgeneeskunde/Dutch Sports Medicine Association) is pre-eminent in the field of Sport & Exercise Medicine. Due to the enormous efforts of the VSG, sport and exercise medicine has now been recognised as a medical specialty in the Netherlands and well-trained sport and exercise physicians practise in a growing number of Dutch and overseas hospitals.
In this VSG edition, we take you on a worldwide tour to ‘trade’ some international knowledge particularly in ‘exercise is medicine’, which in our opinion is valuable merchandise. Like our ancestors, we have been exploring locations and initiatives with physical activity interventions that really work. We are delighted to disclose some of these bright spots in the world. However, there is a need for many more of these brilliant places in the world and we invite you to share the bright and marvellous spots that you have already discovered.
Sex and drugs
Since 1998, the world’s favourite little blue pill, Viagra, has revolutionised treatment for erectile dysfunction. At the time of its approval, Viagra had the fastest initial sales growth following its launch of any prescription product. The pharmaceutical company promoted Viagra and erectile dysfunction awareness via direct-to-consumer advertising which is permitted in many countries. They bypassed the traditional channel of having doctors as the catalyst to start the medication.
Agita Mundo better than Viagra?
But now there is Agita Mundo, a new successful designer drug which also turned out to be effective in the treatment of erectile dysfunction ( see page 1419 ). This potent (sex)ercise pill can change the world, too! Agita Mundo is much more than Viagra. It increases physical activity which can prevent and improve the management of common chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiac disease, cancer and backpain. To achieve widespread use of this prescription product, WHO, ISPAH—International Society for Physical Activity and Health ( see page 1389 ) and BJSM promote Agita Mundo and physical inactivity awareness via several direct-to consumer strategies ( see pages 1410, 1441 and 1433 ), which prompt men and women, young and old, to become more active.
It also stimulates doctors and other healthcare workers to prescribe physical activity more routinely.1 2 The optimal frequency and dose still have to be determined but at least one high dose of Agita Mundo at the weekend may provide benefits ( see page 1384 ). Extending this, we highlight the pleasant idea that postexercise massage seems to help for recovery (and might also be enjoyed by the partner…) ( see page 1386 ).
Rock ‘n roll (or SALSA?)
Dancing is fun and a very good choice of exercise as it can be done at any age. The Mapiness App (The happiness mapping application) tells us that dancing and sex are the physical activities which make people the happiest. Especially more intense dances like rock ‘n roll or salsa improve fitness level rapidly. We Dutch have the proverb ‘Jong geleerd is oud gedaan’ (Something learnt at an early age will be easy when one is older). Even better when you can learn healthy lifestyle behaviour from role models like students. Another bright spot in Australia shows the success of the SALSA (The Student As Lifestyle Activists) programme which reached almost 14 000 high school students since 2004 ( see page 1445 ). Dance for a healthy lifestyle!
Bright spot in the Netherlands 2017–2018
We would like to recommend several bright spots in the Netherlands to you as well. First of all, we are very proud to announce that the author JZ has been appointed as the second professor in Sports Medicine in the Netherlands. Second, the 13th Annual Sports Medicine Scientific Conference of The Dutch Sports Medicine Association (VSG) will take place on 23–24 November and ‘exercise is medicine’ will be one of the major topics during this 2-day conference. This year, there will be inspiring keynote lectures from Roald Bahr (https://youtu.be/DIY4GMTJ0NE), Clare Ardern (https://youtu.be/K8l3eeeV38M), Erik Witvrouw, Henk Bilo and Frank Backx.
All latest Dutch research in Sport and Exercise Medicine and Sports Physiotherapy will be presented and the social interaction is always a highlight of this meeting. More information about the programme can be found online (http://www.sportmedischwetenschappelijkjaarcongres.nl). It promises to be a great conference with personality, pleasure and performance!
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.