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coach, playful and interactive centre for overweight children opened

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2016-11-18

tinker designs a playful and interactive world for children who are overweight

The new location of the Centre for Overweight Adolescent and Children’s Healthcare (COACH) of the Maastricht UMC+ hospital opened on Thursday, 17 November 2016. The Centre focuses on the medical care for and coaching of children and young adults who are overweight. Tinker imagineers, the experience design agency from Utrecht, created a playful and interactive world that nudges children and their parents in the direction of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

The COACH programme is all about developing a healthy lifestyle. Teams of paediatricians, dieticians, psychologists, and educationalists coach the children and their parents. The goals are serious, but children are meant to have fun reaching them. The approach proves successful: 70% of the participants lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle under the supervision of COACH.

Finding the right look and feel for such a location is a delicate matter. Tinker came up with a set-up that matches the mission of COACH to empower children and young people. A motivating and stimulating environment that seems miles away from the world of doctors and hospitals, but does not look too ‘sporty’ or competitive either.

The element of ‘play’ takes centre stage. At the entrance, an interactive wall introduces the participants to the world of COACH. Bringing the animations to life will help them become aware of a healthy lifestyle. The consultations take place in the colourful pavilions that are scattered around the place. The interplay of lines and surfaces is reminiscent of mixed-up playing fields. The space seems to ooze a feeling of ‘anything goes’.  

In the open waiting area, children and their parents / supervisors are challenged to start moving. Interactive games help them to rediscover the fun of exercising and a healthy diet. They can, for instance, try to keep their balance while collecting the healthy products falling down on a display. Or stretch and work together to make the right connections to switch the lights on. Just sitting down and waiting for your turn is a thing of the past!