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Kwok Ng, Pauli Rintala, Jorma Tynjälä, Raili Välimaa, Jari Villberg, Sami Kokko and Lasse Kannas

Background:

Adolescents’ physical activity level is a major source of concern. For adolescents with long-term illnesses or disabilities (LTID), being physically active can prevent secondary conditions. This is one of the first studies reporting trends in physical activity of adolescents with LTID in relation to gender, age, and sports club membership.

Methods:

Data were collected from the Health Behavior in School-aged Children study in Finland during 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. In 13- and 15-year-olds (N = 2206), 17.1% reported having LTID. Daily physical activity recall was the dependent variable. Binary logistic regression analysis was conducted eparately for sports club members (n = 936) and nonmembers (n = 1270).

Results:

The proportion of physically active adolescents with LTID in 2014 was higher than in 2002 for girls (15.6% vs 8.7%) and boys (26.6% vs 13.0%). Girl sports club members were 2 times more likely to be physically active in 2014 than in 2002. The largest trend between 2014 and 2002 was among boy nonmembers (odds ratio: 4.62, 95% confidence interval, 2.02–10.58).

Conclusions:

More adolescents with LTID took part in daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in 2014 than in 2002; however, physical activity levels still remain low. Sports club membership was similar to that of the general population.

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Jarmo Liukkonen, Timo Jaakkola, Sami Kokko, Arto Gråstén, Sami Yli-Piipari, Pasi Koski, Jorma Tynjälä, Anne Soini, Timo Ståhl and Tuija Tammelin

The Finnish 2014 Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth is the first assessment of Finland’s efforts in promoting and facilitating PA opportunities for children and youth using the Active Healthy Kids Canada grading system. The Report Card relies primarily on research findings from 6 Research Institutes, coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä. The Research Work Group convened to evaluate the aggregated evidence and assign grades for each of the 9 PA indicators, following the Canadian Report Card protocol. Grades from A (highest) to F (lowest) varied in Finland as follows: 1) Overall physical activity—fulfillment of recommendations (D), 2) Organized sport participation (C), 3) Active play (D), 4) Active transportation (B), 5) Sedentary behaviors (D), 6) Family and peers (C), 7) School (B), 8) Community and the built environment (B), and 9) Government (B). This comprehensive summary and assessment of indicators related to PA in Finnish children and youth indicates that Finland still has many challenges to promote a physically active life style for youth.

Open access

Kwok W. Ng, Gorden Sudeck, Adilson Marques, Alberto Borraccino, Zuzana Boberova, Jana Vasickova, Riki Tesler, Sami Kokko and Oddrun Samdal

Background: Regular physical activity and doing well in school are important for growing adolescents. In this study, the associations between physical activity and perceived school performance (PSP) are examined together. Methods: Young adolescents from 42 countries (n = 193,949) in Europe and Canada were examined for associations between self-reported moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and PSP. Multinominal analyses were conducted with 0 to 2 days of MVPA and below average PSP as reference categories. Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were reported for pooled data and individual countries after controlling for family affluence scale. Results: Girls had better PSP than boys, yet more boys participated in daily MVPA than girls. The associations between PSP and MVPA were inverted U shaped. The strongest association for very good PSP was among young adolescents who reported 5 to 6 days MVPA (odds ratios = 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.1–2.4) after controlling for family affluence scale. Conclusions: Young adolescents with average or better PSP took part in at least 3 days of MVPA in a week, suggesting that participating in some MVPA was positively associated with PSP. More days of MVPA in a week, especially for young adolescents with below average PSP, would be beneficial for health and school performance.

Open access

Katariina Kämppi, Annaleena Aira, Nina Halme, Pauliina Husu, Virpi Inkinen, Laura Joensuu, Sami Kokko, Kaarlo Laine, Kaisu Mononen, Sanna Palomäki, Timo Ståhl, Arja Sääkslahti and Tuija Tammelin

Open access

Tuija H. Tammelin, Annaleena Aira, Matti Hakamäki, Pauliina Husu, Jouni Kallio, Sami Kokko, Kaarlo Laine, Kati Lehtonen, Kaisu Mononen, Sanna Palomäki, Timo Ståhl, Arja Sääkslahti, Jorma Tynjälä and Katariina Kämppi

Background:

Finland’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth gathers and translates research results and assesses the status and promotion of physical activity (PA) among Finnish children and youth less than 18 years of age. This article summarizes the results and provides grades for 9 indicators.

Methods:

The working group evaluated the evidence and assigned grades of A (highest, 81% to 100%), B, C, D, or F (lowest, 0% to 20%) for 9 PA indicators using the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card development process.

Results:

The grades varied in Finland as follows: 1) Overall PA/fulfillment of recommendations = D, 2) Organized Sport Participation = C, 3) Active Play = C, 4) Active Transportation = B, 5) Sedentary Behaviors = D, 6) Family and Peers = C, 7) School = B, 8) Community and the Built Environment = B, 9) Government = B.

Conclusions:

Despite good policies and programs to promote PA in Finland, children and youth overall PA levels are low, whereas their time spent sedentary is high. More effective interventions, operation models, concrete tools as well as environmental solutions are needed to support the work toward more physically active childhood and youth.