Encouraging sedentary people to physical activity through mass communications

Finnish physical activity campaign materials in 1945–2010

Sedentary lifestyle is a worldwide health threat. Finland is no exception, even though there have been hundreds of physical activity campaigns over the last decades. The aim of the current study is to research:

  • How Finnish sport for all associations have communicated physical activity enhancement in their campaign materials in 1945-2010.
  • How the changes in society can be seen in the campaign materials of different decades.
  • How physically inactive people have been acknowledged as a target group.

The campaign materials of six different sport for all associations and Fit For Life Program serve as the original materials for the study. The research data consists of about 600 posters and 200 fitness cards.

The previous studies have mainly concentrated in estimating the campaigns' cost-effectiveness. Instead, how the campaigns have tried to affect people has been less studied so far. Physical activity campaign material analysis can give new perspectives on how to guide (or not to guide) people towards physical activity, and how to comment new factors that increase physical inactivity. The research results can be exploited when new communications are planned to activate physically inactive people.


LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health
University of Turku
University of Jyväskylä

Rantala Maria

Communications specialist

Phone 040 502 9082