Increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary time among school-aged children
Finnish Schools on the Move is a national action programme aiming to establish a physically active culture in Finnish comprehensive schools. Schools and municipalities participating in the programme implement their own individual plans to increase physical activity during the school day.
Finnish Schools on the Move programme is one of the key projects in the field of knowledge and education in the Government Programme of Finland. The goal of the government is that "the Schools on the Move project will be expanded across the country to ensure one hour of physical activity each day".
The Schools on the Move programme is carried out by the Finnish National Board of Education and the Ministry of Education and Culture. The programme is financed with lottery funding and coordinated by the LIKES Research Centre for Sport and Health Sciences.
Finnish Schools on the Move programme started with a pilot phase (2010-2012). In May 2017, more than 90% of municipalities and 80% of comprehensive schools (2 000 schools) are involved in the programme.
Physical activity and sedentary time
Decreasing excessive sitting during school lessons is an opportunity to participate in the programme ideology.
During the school day, physical activity can be increased by adding more physical education lessons, promoting active commuting and encouraging physically active breaks.
During schools lessons, sedentary behaviour can be decreased by implementing active learning methods involving short active breaks, in order to support optimal learning and avoid long periods of continued sitting. Decreasing excessive sitting during school lessons is an opportunity for all school personnel to participate in the programme ideology.
Research and follow-up
LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health is monitoring the progress of the local Schools on the Move projects, and conducting scientific research on the physical activity of schoolchildren. For more information, please visit LIKES' website.
Material in English
Towards more active and pleasant school days. Interim report on the Finnish Schools on the Move programme 2015-2016.
General presentation on Finnish Schools on the Move programme.
Active body, active mind. How does physical activity affect learning? Research study summary by Heidi Syväoja.
School makes you move and sit still. Finnish Schools on the Move research results 2010 to 2015. Tuija Tammelin, Janne Kulmala, Harto Hakonen & Jouni Kallio.
Changes at the Schools in the Move 2013-2015. Students physically active designers of school activities. Tuija Tammelin, Jouni Kallio, Katja Rajala, Harto Hakonen & Kaarlo Laine.
Finnish Schools on the Move videos in English
Programme director Antti Blom
antti.blom (a) oph.fi
tel. +358 40 348 7316
The promotion of physical activity among school-aged children consists of both increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary time. This requires measures to be undertaken both at school and at home.
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