The Sports and Exercise Safety in Finland Program (LiVE)
Sports activities are considered to be beneficial to health. On the other hand, participating in sports can also be harmful by increasing the risk of injuries.
Number of sports injuries has increased considerably in Finland during the past decades, and today, sports injuries are the most common injury type in our country. Treating of these injuries is often difficult, expensive, and time consuming, and thus, preventive strategies and activities are justified on individual as well as medical and economic grounds.
The purpose of The Sports and Exercise Safety in Finland program (LiVE) is to increase physical activity in general and safety of sports and exercise in a nationwide setting.
Program is financially supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (education and research projects) and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (education and campaigns).
Behind it all is research
LiVE research projects focus on sports-specific injury incidence, risk factors, mechanisms and prevention strategies. Study findings are delivered to the field by communication and education.
Two large randomized controlled studies have been carried out, one among female athletes and another among army recruits. Also, numerous original studies of injury epidemiology in different sports have been published. The findings of these studies have indicated that sports injuries are true public health problem in Finland. However, a remarkable part of these injuries can be prevented by enhancing awareness of injury risks, increasing quality and contents of training and drills, and taking care of safety environment and equipment in sport.
Leppänen Mari, academic dissertation (2017): Prevention of injuries among youth team sports : the role of decreased movement control as a risk factor. Summary and full PDF version in English.
Implementation of LiVE programs
Implementation of injury prevention is conducted in three nationwide programs:
- Healthy Athlete (Terve Urheilija since 2006)
- The program fosters coaching and training culture that promotes good health and safety in sports. National and international study findings are delivered by communication and education especially to young athletes and their coaches and parents.
- Safety in School Sports (TEKO – Terve koululainen since 2010)
- The main target group of the Safety in School Sports is elementary and secondary school teachers.
- Smart Moves (since 2014)
- The program promotes physical activity and increases wellbeing to vocational school and high school students.
LiVE program’s main communication channels are websites: www.tervekoululainen.fi, www.terveurheilija.fi and www.smartmoves.fi. Websites contain information packages, practical toolkits, videos, and posters etc. These materials can be used in many different ways in both school and sports settings.
Safety in School Sports, TEKO
Safety in School Sports program has built up information packages and practical toolkits e.g. digital tests, diaries, videos and PowerPoint slides for teaching and learning. The education material has been developed precisely to adolescents by using their language and style. The material is available free of charge for all in the program webpages in Finnish.
The Element-wall crystallizes the core of the Safety in School Sports program. It provides information and know-how on smart PE and health education and teaching and on sports itself.