Physical activity in the adult population in Finland – the FinHealth Study

Walking and domestic physical activities are favorites – one third reached the physical activity guidelines

Results from the FinHealth 2017 Study show that current physical activity guidelines were reached by 39 % of men and 34% of women. Almost half of men and of women reached the aerobic activity guidelines.

In Finland, the Current Care physical activity guidelines for adults recommend at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity endurance type of physical activity or one hour and fifteen minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Also, the guidelines recommend performing muscle strengthening exercise at least twice per week.

Every third man and every fourth woman reported leisure time conditioning physical activity, whereas 29 % of men and 30 % of women reported not to do any leisure time physical activity. Walking and domestic physical activities were the most commonly reported physical activity types in the adult population in 2017. Adults also frequently reported climbing stairs. Workout and muscle strengthening exercise, running and jogging, as well as dance and group exercise were frequently reported several times a week or daily. Cycling was also a popular physical activity type, particularly in summer time.

Adults spent 7-8 hours sitting on a typical weekday. A large proportion of daily sitting time was spent sitting for work or sitting at home in front of the TV, computer or other screen.

Download the full statistical report (in Finnish)

graph on statistic
Figure 1. Physical activity by domains in men and women (%) in Finland (the FinHealth 2017 Study)

Tables and figures

Description of the statistic

This statistical report on physical activity among the Finnish adult population contains results for the whole country and results by region. The statistic contains information on physical activity in different contexts, the prevalence of different forms of physical activity in summer and in winter, and the amount of physical activity compared with the Current Care Guidelines for health-enhancing physical activity.

In addition, data on the sedentary time of the adult population, accidents related to physical activity and the advice given to take up physical activity has been compiled in the statistics. 

THL’s FinHealth health examination survey was implemented in 2017 to study the health and wellbeing of the adult population and factors related to them. A nationally representative sample of the adult population living in mainland Finland was retrieved for the study. The data on physical activity and sedentary time was gathered using questionnaires.