Promotion of physical activity

Uimari. Kuva: Juha Tuomi/RodeoThe Ministry of Education and Culture creates favourable conditions for everyday exercise, recreational sports and physical activity that promote health and wellbeing. The goal is to encourage people of all ages to stay healthy by getting enough exercise. Promoting an active lifestyle is part of the health and wellbeing policy.

 

The objectives for promoting physical activity are laid down in the Act on the Promotion of Sports and Physical Activity. The Act serves to foster the health and wellbeing of the population as well as the growth and development of children and young people by means of sport and physical activity.

Physical activity is one of the basic services provided by municipalities. Municipalities maintain facilities for sport and physical activity and provide services for sport and physical activity, support civic activity in sport and athletic clubs and organisations, and espouse physical activity that boosts health and wellbeing.

The Ministry helps finance the construction of facilities for sport and physical activity and allocates development and operational grants. The Ministry also funds programmes and campaigns that promote sport and physical activity. Research and statistical data is produced to support operations and to manage information.

Everyday exercise, recreational sports and physical activity that promotes health and wellbeing

Everyday exercise includes commutes to work and school as well as physical activity during recess at school or breaks at work. 

The 'Schools on the Move' key project of the Government Programme aims to increase the amount of everyday exercise that pupils get. Its objective is to increase physical activity and establish a physically active culture in Finnish comprehensive schools. The aim of the Schools on the Move programme is to expand it nationally in an effort to ensure that pupils get one more hour of physical activity every day.

Recreational sports involves physical activity and sports mainly designed for children and youths organised by sport and athletic clubs and organisations. Adults also participate in club activities.

Sport club development grants awarded by the Ministry are intended for the development of sport and physical activity club activities and serve to bring more equal opportunities, especially for children and youths, to participate in recreational sports.

Physical activity that promotes health and wellbeing aims to get people who, for health reasons or otherwise, are not getting enough exercise to become involved in physical activities.  Physical activity that promotes health and wellbeing also enhances the functional capacity of people needing special assistance due to a disability or illness. The steering group for physical activity promoting health drafted "On the move" guidelines and an action plan for increasing the level of physical activity among Finns. The guidelines and several other physical activity recommendations as well as recommendations for reducing sedentary time have been published in the publication series of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

National programmes for promoting physical activity advocate physically active lifestyles for different age groups. Early childhood exercise is the focus in the ‘Joy in Motion’ programme, while the ‘Schools on the Move’ programme promotes physical activity for pupils and students. The goal of the ‘Fit for Life’ programme is to get sedentary adults involved in a more active lifestyle. The ‘Strength in Old Age’ programme increases the muscle strength and physical activity of senior citizens. The national sport and physical activity programme for senior citizens promotes sport and physical activity opportunities for senior citizens of different ages.

Information on the promotion of physical activity in municipalities

Every two years, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) collects data on the promotion of sport and physical activity in municipalities and developments in these areas. The results are reported in the TEAviisari benchmarking data system.

Links to other websites

On the move National strategy for physical activity promoting health and wellbeing 2020

National programmes promoting physical activity

Schools on the Move programme

Strength in Old Age programme

Information on the promotion of physical activity in municipalities

TEAviisari is an online service that showes the direction of health promotion capacity- building in municipalities.

 

Contact information

Sari Virta, ylitarkastaja 
OKM, Nuoriso- ja liikuntapolitiikan osasto, Liikunnan vastuualue 0295330377