The first of its kind! During the Expo for Public Space, Grijsen Park & Street design and M. van den Oever Nurseries will introduce the ‘Bewegings Bankje’ (Exercise Bench). A joint innovation where exercise, getting together, enjoying greenery and recreation merge. This unique and sustainable bench will be unveiled by Lodewijk Hoekstra, co-founder of NL Greenlabel, in a special way at 12.40 pm on 26 September in Lecture hall ‘De Groene Stad’ in Hall 2.

M. Van den Oever and Grijsen, both NL Greenlabel partners, aim to make outdoor spaces more attractive and sustainable. By joining forces, with this ‘Bewegings Bankje’, in short BB, they are making the city, the business premises and the school grounds trendier and especially, exercise-friendlier. The benches provide a place to meet, to train together, encourage and challenge one another, to meet informally and to de-stress. In addition, the most ideal greenery for each ‘Bewegings Bankje’ is also taken into consideration, because greenery has a very favourable effect on people. It makes people more creative, more social and more active. Municipalities are already showing interest in the bench because with it, large health benefits can be achieved in a relatively easy way. After all, in the Netherlands more than 50% of adults above the age of twenty is overweight and almost 15% of children.

Each ‘Bewegings Bankje’ has a clear and understandable description of a number of basic exercises that can done. These exercises are suitable for experienced athletes as well as beginners. Besides this, each BB provides the possibility to get the help of a personal trainer via (the Performenz Institute) who can train, for instance, local residents, employees or students outdoors at fixed times with the BB.



The Green Life™ Scan
What is also unique is that for every BB that is installed, a so-called Green Life™ Scan will be carried out by M. van den Oever’s greenery advisors. This scan shows the most ideal greenery for the outdoor space in which the bench is to be installed. Marwin Dekkers, Managing Director of M. van den Oever Nurseries, adds: “We assist in the choice for the right, sustainably grown tree for that specific living environment. People should get energy from the surroundings in which they exercise. It’s not only the esthetical properties that matter but all the properties of trees and greenery, like climate adjustment, underground and logical connections between greenery and water. And for this, you need a specialist.”

Exemplary role in the area of greenery and health
Lodewijk Hoekstra is convinced: “Cities play an important part when in comes to vitality, health and sustainability and are, in actual fact, one another’s competitors. You want to tempt and invite people as it were to come outside. Internationally, the Netherlands can play an exemplary role in the area of greenery and health. As NL Greenlabel, we do this both nationally and internationally with the initiative ‘The Green City’. Patrick Grijsen, General Manager of Grijsen, adds: “The BB is a great example of how cooperation between NL Greenlabel partners can lead to a fantastic and sustainable innovation in public spaces. Too much money is spent on the wrong furnishing of public spaces. It is important to consider the needs and desires of the users. After all, each space is unique. Grijzen has already been innovating and advising about the most ideal furnishing of public spaces for more than 25 years.”

BewegingsBankje - BBtje

The city, school and office of the future keep you fit
We spend most of our time at school or at work. This means that the school and office of the future must keep you healthy and fit.
None of us achieves the Dutch Municipal Health Service’s exercise norm. For adults this means that they should exercise for at least 150 minutes a week, in several days. In that amount of time, moderate to intensive exercise and muscle and bone strengthening activities should be carried out at least twice a week.
The advice for school children, an important target group because this is where the seed is sown, is to exercise moderately to intensively by, for instance, cycling, walking or gentle swimming.

Choosing the right tree
People should get energy from the surroundings in which they exercise. This exercise living environment should be a friendly one: an experience of water and greenery and their well-being. This is possible, by making different and more natural choices and by connecting areas of greenery and water with each other, like choosing the right location and sustainably grown trees. Choices should not be made based on esthetical values but on a deeper knowledge of the characteristics of the tree. Flooding, climate change, the root environment, the natural habitat and pests and diseases are a number of characteristics on which M. van den Oever bases the right choice and gives advice for the best environment in which to exercise.

This short film, ‘Do we need trees?’, illustrates the value of choosing the right tree and greenery:

UK-versie YouTube:

Every bench is unique with its own name
The name and inscription on the bench BB can be adjusted and makes it possible for the client to customize the bench and make it unique. For instance, there could be a BBB (‘Brabants Bewegings Bankje’) or an ABB (‘Amsterdams Bewegings Bankje’).