illustration of exercising equipment
These Finnish companies are on the move with their approaches to exercising. Image: Julia Bushueva

FIVE FROM FINLAND: Exercise 

Finnish expertise in exercise harnesses technology and some good old fashioned analogue training to get people up and moving in a variety of ways.

Zhanna Koiviola

25.04.2022

Finland is known for encouraging people to improve their health and general wellbeing by exercising in a way that suits them best. Whether it’s working out at home, work or outdoors, Finnish companies, online services and mobile applications have got it covered.

Stay in shape with the help of this Finnish quintet.

Cuckoo

Employees exercising in the office

According to a study by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, taking Cuckoo into use at the workplace increases employees’ productivity and decreases the number of sick leaves. Image: Facebook/Cuckoo

This gamified wellbeing application is designed to encourage office workers and all those who tend to sit for too long during the day to stay active and mindful through fun exercise videos available in four different categories: boost, joy, relax and focus.

Moreover, Cuckoo helps to improve motivation and the sense of belonging among employees, which is particularly important now that many telecommuting workers have lost the feeling of communality in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since its founding in 2014, Cuckoo has helped thousands of people in about 20 countries to get more fit, energised and productive. For 300 big and small companies worldwide, including Rovio, Ponsse and Kemira, Cuckoo has also become a way to improve the corporate culture and employer image.

“Just like companies want to provide their employees with tools and practices that increase efficiency and make working easier, they ought to look after the wellbeing and motivation of their employees as human beings,” stressed co-founder and CEO Veera Lehmonen.

Lappset Group

a woman exercising outdoors

Lappset has been providing its customers with sports, play and outdoor furniture products for more than half a century. Image: Facebook/Lappset Group

Founded in Rovaniemi in 1970, Lappset is one of the leading manufacturers of playground and outdoor exercise equipment worldwide, with subsidiaries in China, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the US. The company aims to provide play and sport experiences for people of all ages and promote physical activity as an integral part of people’s overall wellbeing.

“It is very simple: people get too little exercise,” CEO Tero Ylinenpää noted. “The changing demographics make healthy lifestyles more and more important. That is our purpose, to create environments that inspire people to exercise so that they will be in better shape in the future.”

When it comes to outdoor sports facilities, such as outdoor gyms, crossfit parks, parkour training areas and street workout racks, Lappset pays special attention to safety, durable and environmentally friendly materials, as well as modern and inclusive design that meets the needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Another core value is sustainability. Over the last few years, Lappset has taken action to increase recycling, reduce energy consumption and facilitate the transition to green energy at its production facilities in different countries, among other important steps.

Yogaia

a man doing yoga at home

With Yogaia, it’s easy to turn your living room or workplace into an interactive yoga studio. Image: Facebook/Yogaia

With this Finnish mobile app that has enjoyed global success since its international launch in 2014, users can turn their living room into an interactive yoga studio.

Yogaia aims to make physical activity a natural part of people’s lives by offering live online classes of yoga, Pilates, stretching and meditation. They range from five minutes to over an hour and are suitable for all levels of fitness and flexibility.

In recent years, Yogaia has also noticed growing demand for its services among corporate clients. With Yogaia for Business, offering easy yet efficient exercises that benefit both the body and mind, companies can make sure that their employees build healthy routines, relieve stress and restore physical and mental energy.

“We at Yogaia are a truly mission-driven team, and it is extremely important for all our team members that with our service we can concretely improve people’s wellbeing,” said COO Kaisa Soininen.

FitWood of Scandinavia

child exercising

Offering wooden fitness products for both adults and children, FitWood takes its inspiration directly from the Nordic nature. Image: Facebook/FitWood of Scandinavia

Tampere-based FitWood of Scandinavia is all about maintaining an active lifestyle without compromising on home décor. First launched in 2015, the company designs and manufactures wooden fitness equipment that not only help you to stay fit, but also bring style to your home.

Made of wood from certified northern forests, FitWood wall bars, gym rings, chin bars, exercise wheels and other products are functional and long-lasting, as well as pleasant on the eye so you don’t need to hide them after the workout. Additionally, FitWood offers a fun product line for toddlers and children to keep them physically active and assist them in building confidence in their mobility skills.

With retail partners outside Finland and customers as far as Canada and the US, FitWood continues pushing for international growth.

“I see great potential in the way FitWood combines fitness, Scandinavian design and sustainability,” said CEO Santeri Hilli.

Break Pro

a group of office workers exercising

Available for all devices, the Break Pro app offers more than 200 effective, easy and safe break exercises for better physical and mental wellbeing. Image: Facebook/Break Pro

Designed by experienced physiotherapists, this mobile platform is targeted mainly at office personnel and other professionals who need to reduce the physical burden of spending long hours sitting down.

The Break Pro app motivates users to have regular breaks throughout the workday and offers one-minute exercise videos filmed on the shores of picturesque Finnish lakes. Additionally, the app offers useful tips from an occupational physiotherapist for proper ergonomics.

“During my physical therapy studies and later as I specialised as an occupational physical therapist, it became obvious to me that instead of passively treating clients a physical therapist can best promote their health by motivating them to exercise,” explained founder and CEO Janne Rajakallio.

The app is already trusted by hundreds of businesses in Finland, including Fazer, Fortum and S Group. Moreover, Finnish wellbeing knowhow has made its way to the global market as many international companies have expressed their interest in the app.

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