Ethics. Research. Community.

Physical activity policy and program development: the experience in Finland.

Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974). 
2004 May-Jun
[Record Source: PubMed]
This article describes the development of sports and physical activity policies and programs in Finland during the past 30 years. The past two decades have been marked by a shift in emphasis from competitive and elite sports to health-enhancing physical activity for all, as seen most clearly in two successive sports acts and a government resolution. The new, increasingly multisectoral policies have led to substantial changes in the public funding of sports organizations, services, and construction of sports sites. Furthermore, three successive five-year national physical activity promotion programs have been launched. As a result, increased and new types of opportunities to participate in physical activity have become available, and the infrastructure and networks for provision of services have been strengthened. Until the mid 1990s, leisure time physical activity increased in Finland, but during the last seven to eight years, both leisure time and commuting physical activity have been stable. This finding may be an indication of the difficulty to increase physical activity in an industrialized country with already relatively high levels of physical activity even when systematic, long-term policies and measures are applied.
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