In “past, present, future”, we ask clinical or academic experts to reflect on selected Sports & Exercise Medicine topics. Today Willem van Mechelen on Exercise as Medicine. 


Willem van Mechelen


Tell us more about yourself.

Former PE-teacher, now professor of occupational and sports medicine, Amsterdam and Texel, proud husband, father and grandfather, passionate about sports, physical activity and (public) health.


What was hip and happening 10 years ago?

Exercise is Medicine started to emerge after ACSM had set up EIM as a separate entity, followed in 2015 by Exercise is Medicine in Europe.


What are we doing now?

We are now dedicatedly introducing EIM as part of the standard into primary, outpatient and clinical cure and care, for instance, through our LOFIT-project ( However, in the absence of a billing title, this seems a bit like an uphill battle.


Where do you think we will be 10 years from now?

In part, driven by the awareness brought about by the current Covid-19 pandemic on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, EIM will have been widely embraced by the medical community and society.


Would you like to learn more on this topic? Here is a selection of publications on Exercise as Medicine in our journal.
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