OLL: HEIs must support reducing students’ daily sitting through floor and interior design as well as furniture solutions!

Statement 15 February 2017

The Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) demands that all higher education institutions consider the options interior and floor design as well as furniture solutions in order to support reduced daily sitting for students and other members of the academic community. According to the Higher Education Student Health Survey published by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) on 13 February, higher education students sit close to 11 hours daily on weekdays. Only 16% of students sit less than eight hours per day.

“These results are very alarming. Sitting too much is an independent health risk factor. At present, Finnish higher education milieus hardly at all support reducing daily sitting for the higher education community,” comments OLL’s Vice President Otto Takala, responsible for sport policy.  “It is a sad fact that the higher education facilities almost without exception have been planned, built, decorated and furnished in such a way that it is not easy or natural to pause one’s sitting or to work standing up,” continues Takala.

A qualitative study carried out by OLL in cooperation with the research company Ahaa! showed that students themselves think they sit too much, but they find it difficult to reduce sitting in their higher education milieu. Students would be happy to sit less than presently if it were easy to reduce sitting.

“OLL demands that and challenges higher education institutions to consider the national recommendations and principles on reducing sitting when planning floor and interior design and furniture. We need this to change, now. A healthy higher education community is a goal we must not give up on,” concludes Vice President Takala.

Contact details:
Special Advisor for University Sport Jussi Ansala, jussi.ansala@oll.fi, +358 44 7800 214
Special Advisor for University Sport Hanne Munter, hanne.munter@oll.fi, +358 44 7800 219