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12 Feb 2024
Niksen – the Dutch practice of 'switching off' is the latest class offering from David Lloyd
By Kath Hudson
Niksen – the Dutch practice of 'switching off' is the latest class offering from David Lloyd
David Lloyd Clubs is teaching members to just be
Photo: David Lloyd Clubs
David Lloyd Clubs has created a class teaching its members how to switch off, in response to a survey of members saying they're stressed and don’t know how to unwind.

Based on Niksen, the Dutch practice of just 'being', the class has been developed in association with psychologist, Jan De Jonge and life coach, Anna Williamson.

Launched free on Instagram, Niksen is now available at selected clubs and on-demand via the David Lloyd Clubs app.

The practice involves stopping and allowing thoughts to wander without obligations or expectations and is a great way to release tension.

The member survey revealed that 60 per cent of members couldn’t remember the last time they switched off; 22 per cent said they wouldn’t know how and 41 per cent feel bogged down with endless to-do lists. Twenty two per cent feel so overstretched that they said they'd prefer have 10 minutes peace to a Ferrari!

“The mental and physical benefits of doing nothing are fantastic, helping to lift your mood and set you up for a more productive and balanced life,” says De Jonge. “However, switching off can be a challenge and giving yourself permission to do this is probably the hardest part of practising Niksen.”

Steph Holland, creative director at David Lloyd Clubs, says: “In a culture that encourages us to always be on, we’re encouraging Brits to take a step back and try to do the opposite, recognising the importance of rest on our overall mental and physical wellbeing.”

Although many of us feel the pressure to be endlessly productive, Anna Williamson says stopping to recharge is important for our physical and mental wellbeing: “As a mum of two, I know how hard it can be to take time for yourself during the day, alongside a career, housework and all the other daily commitments and never ending to do lists! However, there are many benefits of practising Niksen, such as reduced stress and anxiety, an improved immune system and overall increased productivity.”

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