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Tommi Vasankari celebrates Move! – measurement results. “If there is a positive change in numbers among 111,000 children and teenagers, this is a big deal! However, let’s remember that this is not a sprint, but a marathon – changing the operating method and culture is a long way.”
Vasankari spoke at the announcement of the Move! measurement results 2023 on December 13, 2023. He emphasized that, when viewed at the national level, no savings should be made in the actions taken to improve operational capability. Vasankari encourages Move! -the adoption of metrics as result variables for the municipal field and welfare areas. In this way, the matter would be taken more seriously and cooperation would be made to work in all municipalities and cities.
Mikko Huhtiniemi, the Development Manager at the University of Jyväskylä, echoes the importance of utilizing results comprehensively, emphasizing the need to understand the support required for those working with children and teens.
Let’s make movement possible for everyone
The results reveal significant regional variations, with sparsely populated areas exhibiting lower physical activity levels in children and teens compared to urban regions. If school and hobby trips take hours, creating different and accessible opportunities for movement beyond school and activity commutes becomes crucial. d young people must otherwise be given opportunities to move as much as possible.
Despite regular participation in organized sports, many children and teens still engage in insufficient physical activity. The Move! study underscores the need for innovative solutions to combat sedentary behavior, with exergaming emerging as a current solution in over 50 schools and institutions. Exergaming seamlessly integrates physical activity into the school day, contributing not only to physical fitness but also positively impacting learning outcomes.
Boys are more flexible, and squatting is slightly better
The results indicate slight improvements in overall physical fitness among 5th and 8th-grade students. However, gender disparities persist, with boys more frequently meeting recommended activity levels. Emphasizing the importance of finding inclusive forms of exercise, active gaming proves to be a fun and appealing option for both genders.
Encouragement and easy solutions
Tiina Larsson, the Director of Education in Kerava, shares successful initiatives in reducing sedentary behavior, highlighting cost-effective options like exergaming that require minimal teacher resources. During the process, it has become clear that the teachers wish for a form of exercise that is easily accessible and feasible for children and teenagers, and does not tie up teacher resources.
Active gaming is a carefree and effortless solution for schools and educational institutions. It diversifies the teacher’s toolbox, and playing does not require supervision or instructions. The students know how to play independently, and the statistics obtained from the cloud portal show that breathtaking exercise performances are done with these products whenever possible (Read more). With a focus on easy accessibility and implementation, exergaming has become an effortless and cost-efficient solution for schools, leveling regional disparities in physical activity during school hours.
We are writing the following blog article about the soon-to-be-published master’s thesis (Sironen & Tornberg, 2023). In its interviews, the views and experiences of teachers were heard on the use of active gaming as a physical education tool, and the thesis focuses on how to encourage students towards a more active lifestyle.
Encouraging children and teens to embrace physical activity not only promotes a healthier present but also sets the foundation for a balanced and active adulthood. Let’s continue the conversation both face-to-face and on social media channels!
Finnish National Agency for Education (2023). Miltä näyttää lasten ja nuorten fyysinen toimintakyky? Move!-mittaustulosten 2023 julkistamistilaisuus.
Finnish National Agency for Education (2023). Move!. https://www.oph.fi/en/move
Sironen H. & Tornberg A. (2023). Oppilaat kohti liikunnallisempaa elämäntapaa – Opettajien näkemyksiä ja kokemuksia iWall-peliseinän hyödyntämisestä liikuntapedagogisena työvälineenä. Pro gradu –tutkielma, Kasvatustieteiden tiedekunta, Teknologiapainotteinen luokanopettajakoulutus, 2023.