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Maija Laurikkala-Dewes | 10.11.2020

How much is a lot and what is a good amount?

Mars kaamos! step campaign

If immobility would be a product, it’s selling would be banned immediately. Immobility causes direct economic damage to the individual, company and society. Good physical condition, which is built by exercising, is in turn related to health, the number of healthy days in life, vitality, psychological resilience, coping at work and a “I Can” feeling. 

As a physiotherapist, I often come across assumptions of own exercise amounts. A person with a poor result in a fitness test can say that is moving a lot, and a person with an excellent result can announce that is not moving at all. The source of the error is not in the fitness test!

As taking a closer look at the exercise habits is revealing that the day of the person who thinks that is moving a lot, consists of desk work mainly remotely during the corona period, and that all seven exercises a week are made at the gym by a car. On the other hand, the person with excellent fitness test results can tell that there’s no time to exercise, as the day consists of walking three big dogs in the mornings, evenings and lunch breaks and from a own forest, a wood-heated detached house and a large garden. Taking a closer look at the amount of daily exercises shows that the result of the fitness test was correct for both. Results are about exercise habits and their differences.

Actions for the goal!

Usually exercising is done for health and wellbeing. If the aim is to have more energy, the short power moments of precisely planned movements in the gym are not enough to be exercise. Good basic condition is built from being on the move as opposed to sitting still. Passive sitting for a long time is the worst enemy of the good condition.

Observe your exercise habits and think how you could increase your daily steps. Heltti’s #marskaamos campaign goal is to encourage all colleagues in the workplace to take more active steps in a variety of ways. How do you get 10,000 steps taken every day? Compare ways to do that with colleagues, and take the best ideas from others for your own use.

But what amount exactly is enough for exercising? Every working age person should exercise at least according to the exercise recommendations. The three most important points in the exercise recommendations are:

  1. Enough sleep
  2. Breaks from immobility whenever it’s possible
  3. Light movement as much as possible

Do you follow these key points? If you do, the result of the fitness test could pleasantly surprise you, even if you don’t exercise separately. Following recommendations about exercising will be added to the other recommendations:

  • Brisk exercise 2,5h or strenuous exercise 1h 15min per week
  • Strength training twice a week

The exercise recommendations are the minimum amounts and can be found in more detail on the UKK Institute’s website. The message of Tommi Vasankari, the director of the UKK Institute, is that by doubling the amount of exercise, you will also double the health benefits. Let’s change together our exercise habits more active in everyday life, both at work and at home in Mars Kaamos! step campaign.

Maija Laurikkala-Dewes: Toimin Heltissä työfysioterapeuttina. Olen aikaisemmalta koulutukseltani diplomi-insinööri, ja oman liikunnan rakastamisen myötä lähdin kutsumukseni perään opiskelemaan fysioterapeutiksi. Tavoitteeni on auttaa ihmisiä jaksamaan arjessaan paremmin, niin työtehtävissä kuin työn ulkopuolellakin