Low level of physical activity, excess sedentary behavior and poor physical fitness are critical factors for population health and wellbeing. These are risk factors for several non-communicable diseases like metabolic diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and musculoskeletal disorders.
To be able to monitor and promote population health and wellbeing, regular, diverse, and reliable data on physical behavior and fitness is needed. This includes device-based measurements of short and intermittent activity bouts, different physical activity intensities (light, moderate and vigorous) and different postures of sedentary behavior (sitting, reclining, and laying) and standing. Device-based measurements offer a more detailed and versatile possibilities to analyze dose-response relationships between physical behaviors and health risks. Measurements conducted 24/7 give also a more detailed data on the distribution of different physical behaviors during the day.
The main purpose of this cross-sectional study with a random population-based sample is to assess physical fitness and 24/7 physical behavior among working-age adults (20-69-year-olds) in Finland. Both independent and combined associations of fitness and intensity-specific physical activity, standing, sedentary behavior, and time in bed, and their dose-response relationships to several measured, self-reported, or register-based indicators of health will be analyzed.
The FINFIT is a cross-sectional population study based on a stratified random sample of 20–69-year-old Finnish men and women from seven city-centered regions (Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Oulu, and Rovaniemi). Potential participants are drawn from a population census: from seven regions, in five age groups (20–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, and 60–69).
The study measurements include (1) health and fitness examinations (blood sample, fitness tests, accelerometer-measured physical behavior 24/7 and a health-related questionnaire) at the local research centers; or (2) accelerometer-measured physical behavior and a health-related questionnaire either online or in paper form.
At the health and fitness examination physical fitness is assessed by the following reliable, feasible, and valid field-based tests of health-related fitness depending on the age of the participant: shoulder-neck mobility, jump and reach, modified push-up, and six-minute walk test for all participants, and one-leg stand for the participants aged at least 45 years. Before the tests, a standard pre-testing health screening is conducted. The screening includes measurements of weight and height, waist circumference, blood pressure, and self-reported physical activity level. The health assessment includes fasting blood samples taken after a 12 h overnight fasting.
Later the participants will receive written feedback on their blood samples, fitness test results and physical behavior.
The first FinFit Study was conducted in 2017–2019 and the second one in 2021–2022.
Tommi Vasankari, Harri Sievänen, Pauliina Husu, Kari Tokola, Henri Vähä-Ypyä
The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture creates public policy and programs for continuous national surveillance of measured population-level physical fitness, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and time in bed among all age-groups.
The health and fitness examinations of the study are conducted in co-operation with regional partners: Kuopio Research Institute of Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation sr, City of Helsinki, Santasport Sports Institute (Rovaniemi), Paavo Nurmi Center (Turku, 2017), Turku University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (Helsinki), Liiku ry (Turku, 2021), LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health (Jyväskylä, 2017), University of Jyväskylä (Jyväskylä, 2021), City of Naantali, City of Raisio ja Tampere City Region (2021).
The Regional Ethics Committee of the Expert Responsibility Area of Tampere University Hospital gave ethical approval for the study both in 2017 and 2021 (R17030 ja R21050).
Husu P, Tokola K, Vähä-Ypyä H, Sievänen H, Vasankari T. Accelerometer-Measured Physical Behavior and Cardiorespiratory Fitness as Indicators of Work Ability. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2023; 20(7):5414
Vähä-Ypyä H, Sievänen H, Husu P, Tokola K, Mänttäri A, Heinonen O J, Heiskanen J, Kaikkonen K M, Savonen K, Kokko S, Vasankari T. How adherence to the updated physical activity guidelines should be assessed with accelerometer? European Journal of Public Health, Volume 32, Issue Supplement_1, September 2022, Pages i50–i55. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckac078
Husu P, Tokola K, Vähä-Ypyä H, Sievänen H, Vasankari T. Depressive symptoms are associated with accelerometer-measured physical activity and time in bed among working-aged men and women. Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour, 2022:5(3):168-177. https://doi.org/10.1123/jmpb.2021-0058
Husu P, Tokola K, Vähä-Ypyä H, Vasankari T. Liikuntaraportti. Suomalaisten mitattu liikkuminen, paikallaanolo ja fyysinen kunto 2018–2022. Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö Helsinki. Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriön julkaisuja 2022:33.
Measurement of physical fitness and 24/7 physical activity, standing, sedentary behavior, and time in bed in working-age Finns: study protocol for FINFIT 2021
Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and time in bed among Finnish adults measured 24/7 by triaxial accelerometry
Intensity paradox – low-fit people are physically most active in terms of their fitness
FINFIT 2017: population-based study on objectively measured physical fitness, activity, sedentary behavior and sleep in Finland