Bottoms up – Sit less, feel better campaign shortlisted for the Health Act of the Year award
The Finnish Student Health Service’s Bottoms up – Sit less, feel better campaign has been shortlisted as one of the three best candidates in the Health Act of the Year category of the annual Health Awards competition, organised by Tamro Oy.
The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness among the target groups of the health risks associated with sitting too much and how these risks can be reduced through small everyday acts. The idea is to question the norm in which sitting is the rule and standing up is a disruption. The campaign has worked to make it acceptable to stand up and stretch during lectures or perform a mini workout. Another aim is to introduce new ideas in the way we study and work – you can also work standing up, stand during lectures, and take breaks in sitting down. The FSHS planned and launched the campaign together with the University of Turku. The campaign was run in 2014–2016.
The campaign’s target groups included both university students and university staff. Effectiveness surveys have shown that the campaign has increased awareness of the health risks associated with prolonged sitting and has reduced sitting among students and staff. Exercise during breaks has also increased, and new furniture suitable for working or studying while standing up has been purchased for lecture theatres, workspaces and halls.
Model adopted elsewhere in Europe
In November 2015, Bottoms up – Sit less, feel better was awarded the ENAS Best Practice Award by the European Network of Academic Sports Services in recognition of its outstanding approach. The project was praised for its easy, simple implementation. Since the award, the campaign has been introduced on three European university campuses.
The Health Act of the Year of the annual Health Awards competition will be announced on 26 January 2017. The winner will be selected by the Health Awards jury, the members of which represent a wide range of health and wellness organisations.