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About us

UKK Institute – Centre for Health Promotion Research 


The purpose of the UKK Institute is to promote public health. The main aim is to promote healthy lifestyle and, in particular, health-enhancing physical activity and to reduce the number of injuries occuring at home or leisure through research, training and public awareness. 

The UKK Institute is a private research organisation located in Tampere, Finland with 40 employees. 

The UKK Institute was founded in 1980 and is owned by the Urho Kekkonen Fitness Institute Foundation. 

Focus Areas 

The strategy of UKK Institute highlights: 

  • Monitoring the physical activity, sedentary behaviour and fitness of the population 
  • Promoting health-enhancing physical activity
  • Safety of physical activity 

Read more about the research and development projects in the focus areas. See also the tools for health promotion that we provide in English. 

Celebrating 40th birthday

Urho Kaleva Kekkonen Institute for Health Promotion Research, better known as the UKK Institute, celebrated its 40th birthday in 2020. The aim of the instute is to advance healthy lifestyle by promoting physical activity, reducing the number of sport injuries and monitoring the fitness of the population. In addition, it serves as a provider of research-based information regarding health and well-being.

The name of the UKK Institute stems from its history: the institution was officially founded in April 1980 as part of a birthday present for president Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, and its original objective was to promote the role of exercise in maintaining public health. Since then, its operation has expanded and terminology has been specified, as the institute has evolved into a research and specialist center for health-enhancing physical activity.

Director and Board of Directors 

Director of the UKK Institute is Professor Tommi Vasankari, DMed.Sc. 

The Foundation’s Board of Directors has representatives from 

  • The Council of the Urho Kekkonen Fitness Institute Foundation 
  • The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 
  • The Ministry of Education 
  • The City of Tampere 
  • The University of Tampere 

Tampere Research Centre of Sports Medicine 

Tampere Research Center of Sports Medicine (TaULA) is one of the six centers of Sports and Exercise Medicine in Finland and has been operating as a part of the UKK Institute since 1980. 

TaULA offers appointments of physicians of Sports and Exercise Medicine, sports medicine nutritionist and physiotherapists, and performs exercise and clinical physiology testing. 

The expertise area of the TaULA includes assessment and treatment of exercise-induced asthma, overtraining conditions and sports injuries. In scientific research the main focus of the TaULA is on sports injuries and their prevention. 

Tampere Research Centre of Sports Medicine 
tel. + 358 3 282 9333 

UKK Terveyspalvelut Ltd 

Workplace health promotion services are provided by UKK Terveyspalvelut Ltd as part of the Urho Kekkonen Fitness Institute Foundation. 

UKK Terveyspalvelut Ltd 
tel. +358 3 282 9111 


The funding of the UKK Institute is provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA) and public research grants. A smaller part of the activities are covered by self-financing. 

Last updated: 23.1.2022

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