What happens when you put a Healthy Living Room amidst 1500 schoolchildren in the age-range of 10-15 years old? Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN) found out during ‘Go Sports’ in the municipality of Stadskanaal, in the eastern part of the province of Groningen.
Go Sports is a bi-annual event, promoting sporting activities for all the schools within the municipality. These activities were spread across the several market squares. The Healthy Living Room was positioned near the main stage, filled with several health check-tools and goodies for the participants.
We found out that boys are very interested in body composition (specifically fat percentage and muscle mass), girls not so much. The hand grip strength monitor was an instant hit, with the blood pressure monitor a close second. The heartrate variability monitor, required patience and sitting still, which wasn’t easy for some hyperactive people. In the end circa 140 (mainly) children and (some) parents/teachers participated in the Healthy Living Room.
o Bring more goodies
o Most people know whether they are overweight or not. It would be great to have tools that don’t state the obvious, but show a way forward; that motivate and set goals that are within reach.
o Even though some people don’t want to do one of the health checks, they are drawn to the Healthy Living Room and are willing to talk about health.
o Healthy people like the fact that they can get proof of their health and chances are they use it to motivate others. So it’s good to focus also on the sporty people.
The Praça Vida+ is an event organized in the context of the European project Healthy Lifestyle Innovation Quarters for Cities and Citizens (HeaLIQs 4 Cities) that took place between the 20th and 22nd of July at Alma Shopping, in Coimbra.
The event organized by Universidade de Coimbra and Instituto Pedro Nunes had as primordial objective the promotion of healthy lifestyles, enabling the interaction between citizens, local academia, SMEs and local government.
The venue, Alma Shopping situated in the heart of Coimbra, offers a relaxed and family friendly environment that matched the overall environment we wanted to create at Praça Vida+.
In the past months, a multidisciplinary team of specialists from University of Coimbra and Institute Pedro Nunes, that included scientists, medical doctors, economists and psychologists have developed a questionnaire and selected the technologies necessary for evaluating lifestyle. In the last 3 days, using that tool, around 300 citizens visited us at Praça Vida+ and assessed different parameters of their lifestyle receiving a report with personalized advice on how to improve them.
In the context of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme, University of Porto and Porto4Ageing were at our event and a meeting was held to identify possibilities of collaboration, align strategies, and start planning joint activities.
In the stage, the citizens were able to watch and engage in debates and round tables on different topics related to health and wellbeing, namely: social cohesion, nutrition, chronic disease, physical exercise and dementia. For instance, on Saturday, we had the stage session on Living+ with Health, where healthy and active ageing as well as prevention and literacy in health were highlighted. Some hot topics were discussed, namely vaccination, medication for cholesterol and polymedication. Three big areas in the future of medicine were identified: the importance of self-care, telemedicine and data from clinical settings.
With the objective of increasing public visibility of R&D in Healthy Living and Active Ageing, several startups were invited to Praça Vida+. The citizens tested their products and engaged in co-creation processes. Also we had several stands with information about programs, European projects, consortia and entities in the areas of health, wellbeing and active and healthy ageing.
A delegation from the Dutch partners of the project visited us on Friday. They were at Praça Vida+ assessing their lifestyle and a partner meeting was held to discuss future activities, namely the Healthy Living Room, the other event of HeaLIQs4Cities that will be organized in Groningen, in October.
The closing ceremony was preceded by a musical act by a local senior group called “Os Vivências” and what a nice way to finish off.
We hope that you have enjoyed the Praça Vida+ as much as we did. See you next October, in Groningen, for the Healthy Living Room event.