“Finland needs more physical activity in all age groups,” states the Government’s new Report on Sports Policy. The lack of physical activity costs the society billions of euros, and the younger generations must not be made to pay for it. In order to increase the amounts of physical activity in the future and reduce costs, the Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) demands that the Report on Sports Policy must be implemented during the upcoming term of office as part of the government programme.
The lack of physical activity is a huge expense for society. The UKK Institute estimates that the lack of physical activity costs approximately 3.2–7.5 billion euros, while the estimated cost of increasing the amount of everyday physical activity is 275 million euros. “The costs of increasing physical activity are marginal in relation to the benefits, so I am very surprised that this investment has not yet been carried out,” says Joonas Suikula, President of the Finnish Student Sports Federation.
Finland needs considerable investment in increasing physical activity. The Report on Sports Policy offers good solutions for making Finns more active. The Finnish Student Sports Federation thinks it is excellent that the Report on Sports Policy and the suggested measures are based on the model of the sports life cycle and different life stages, such as different levels of education and working life.
The Schools on the Move programme has turned out to be a success in comprehensive education. Now, there is a particular need to develop sports culture and opportunities for physical activity at higher education institutions. The higher education environment is full of structures that create a passive lifestyle, and these need to be changed. According to the University Student Health Survey carried out by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS), the average student spends more than 10 hours per day sitting. Long-term sitting and a lack of physical activity has serious health consequences. A programme like Schools/Students on the Move is a cost-effective solution for increasing the physical activity among students in higher education.
Implementing the Report on Sports Policy in the government programme would reduce the costs caused by insufficient physical activity and would make it possible to be active in different life stages and situations. “The Report on Sports Policy must be included in the government programme, it cannot be just an empty document,” states OLL President Suikula.
Joonas Suikula, OLL President, firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 44 7800 2111
Jussi Ansala, Special Advisor for University Sport, email@example.com, +358 44 7800 2104