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Research team

Since 2007, the department of Physiology of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre performed studies to determine the physiological demand of prolonged walking exercise on annual basis. These studies revealed that 25% of the participants are dehydrated on one or multiple days. Especially men and individuals with overweight have an increased risk to develop dehydration. Moreover, we showed that the core body temperature of participants of the Nijmegen Four Days Marches elevates with ~1 degree Celcius. These athletes are therefore not at risk to develop heat related illnesses. We also found that exercise-induced health risks are predominantly present on the first day of this exercise event, and risks strongly decrease on subsequent days. Changes in plasma volume likely contribute to these observations. Finally we also found that participants of the Nijmegen Marches have a very active lifestyle, as more than 90% of the participants fulfills ACSM's criteria for physical activity.

In the year 2000, the Department for Health Evidence initiated a large study among the inhabitants of the municipality of Nijmegen in collaboration with the departments for Clinical Chemistry and Endocrinology of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (RUNMC) and the Community health service of Nijmegen. The goal of this Nijmegen Biomedical Study was to learn more about the prevalence of certain diseases, risk factors for disease, and genetic variations in the general population. The Department for Health Evidence also has much experience in research of cancer, reproduction, and evaluation of complex medical interventions.

In 2011, both departments of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre started with this prospective study, to determine the effects of an active lifestyle on (general) health, quality of life, and progression of diseases.


Health insurance company VGZ supports our prospective study. They are interested in the results of our study, which give important insight in the role of physical activity on the health of the general population. Moreover, the determinants of this healthy lifestyle can be useful to implement in their insurances, to stimulate their customers towards a physical active lifestyle.

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