blog – petri keskitalo

We need wide-ranging behavioural change – every individual is part of the solution to inactivity

Lähikuva Petri Keskitalosta hiihtoladun vieressä.

I have never known so much about the disadvantages of inactivity or the resulting costs to society as I do know. This past autumn I have personally moved less than ever before. This challenge partially crystallises the root cause of immobility. The importance of the issue is acknowledged and understood, but superficial awareness is not enough to change one’s habits and behaviour.

My inactivity in 2023 is surely not caused by a lack of information. Nor is it a matter of not knowing how to move. Nor is it a lack of time, even though this is an appealing excuse. There are 168 hours in a week, of which I spent an average of 112 hours on work and sleep. So, there should be time – if we use mathematics as the springboard. Also, my body doesn’t know whether I am wearing a tracksuit or dress trousers. Every step counts – even those made during the workday or on the way to the workplace.

For my part, the drop in mobility results primarily from my attitude, values and habits. After the workday I most often just crash onto the couch to watch Netflix instead of popping outside even for a moment. It is, first and foremost, a value judgement. Even a short stint of outdoors activity would also ensure a better and more restorative night’s sleep.

I am also focusing on working life: Am I truly so irreplaceable that I don’t have the time to make use of the two hours of exercise my employer gives me every week? This might result from the long-standing habit of working long days even if effectiveness has already dropped.

I approach my promise for the year 2024 via two paths.
The first has to do with my personal activity level.

  • From now on, I will schedule exercise periods into my weekly work routine,
  • I will participate in Teams meetings while walking when possible and
  • three nights a week I will choose some kind of self-motivated exercise instead of Netflix.

My personal activity requires several simultaneous nudges. A tired and unhealthy Keskitalo is of no use to my family, loved ones or employer, to be sure.

My other promise manifests in the discourse around exercise. I promise to continue to bring up the societal significance of exercise in cross-administrative contexts when dealing with the state, well-being services counties, municipalities and public and private organisations.

Without an active people we will not have a functional country. Every individual is part of the solution to inactivity – including me.

make the change visible

Talk about your promise aloud and share it on social media with the hashtags #LupausSuomelle and/or #LöftetillFinland.
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Petri wrote this blog. Leader in Active Finland work and a passionate exercise advocate. Many Finns remember “Elmo’s” inspiring performances in track and field arenas across Europe.