Free from structures creating a passive lifestyle: Extend the Students on the Move programme properly to higher education institutions

  • The average student sits for over 10 hours a day.
  • The higher education environment does not encourage physical activity. Everyday physical activity and the lack of such activity will be an important factor in the well-being, coping and work ability of future generations.
  • At Schools on the Move, a new generation is growing up, a generation who expects to have the same opportunities for physical activity when they begin their studies at a higher education institution.
    • For seven million euros a year, over 200,000 students in comprehensive education and 76,000 students in upper secondary education became more physically active.
    • Many higher education institutions already participate in the Schools on the Move programme without resources. They have the will, but have no money.
  • The principles should be the same as in the Schools on the Move programme: Higher education institutions are given the resources and a platform for exchanging ideas, but they control the activities themselves. This will guarantee that each higher education institution’s needs and interests will serve as the starting point for the activities.

The Students on the Move programme makes it possible to change the operational culture with small sums of money.

The Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) demands: 7 million euros in funding for the Students on the Move programme in higher education.


Preventive equality: FSHS will be expanded, so sports services should also be offered at all higher education institutions

  • Encouraging physical activity is an important part of preventive health care.
    • The services offered by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) will be extended to the universities of applied sciences, but the sports services vary in quality, which puts the students in an unequal position.
  • Services in accordance with the Recommendations for University Sports should be provided throughout Finland.
    • An investment of 30 euros per student, in accordance with the Recommendations, would mean 8.2 million euros, i.e. 0.3% of the funding the higher education institutions receive from the Ministry of Education and Culture.
    • Less than one quarter of the higher education institutions invest in their sports services in accordance with the Recommendations.
  • In the last decade, the Finnish Parliament’s statement as part of the Universities Act and the Finnish Government’s resolution on promoting sports led to clear improvements in higher education sports.

It is time to find long-term solutions which extend over parliamentary terms in order to develop and maintain the sport services in higher education. By granting the higher education sports an official status, we will have healthier students and future employees!

The Finnish Student Sports Federation (OLL) demands: Provide incentives and resources for higher education institutions to develop their sports services.


Why is this important?

Due to physical inactivity, at least 67% of higher education students are exposed to a number of health hazards: back pain, headache, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. At worst, these diseases can result in people completely losing their future ability to work.

Physical activity has a positive effect on learning. Studies have found that physical activity improves connections between brain cells, which has an effect on attention, concentration and information-processing and memory functions.  

During the last few years, investments have been made in starting sports services at the universities of applied sciences, and, in four years, physical activity among the students at the universities of applied sciences has reached the same level as that of the university students. This cannot be a coincidence.

Starting sport services always requires the most resources, but these activities will pay for themselves. Through cooperation between the universities of applied sciences and the universities, we can establish well-functioning and cost-effective sports services which benefit more students.

More information:
Recommendations for University Sports 2018 (in Finnish, summary in English).
Koulupäivän aikainen liikunta ja oppiminen – tilannekatsaus tammikuu 2018 (in Finnish)