Health Bodies Question Finland’s Future Over Finns’ Physical Fitness

WeightInternationalIndiaAfricaAccording to medics and health specialists, unless drastic action is taken, by the 2040s, Finns will be unable to perform a number of jobs which ensure the very functioning of the society — including serving in the armed forces and doing rescue work.A number of Finnish public health organizations have published a rare joint bulletin in a bid to urge the next government to take drastic measures to improve the deteriorating physical fitness of Finns.In the joint letter, the signatories, ranging from the Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health (Soste), to the Finnish Olympic Committee and the Finnish Non-Communicative Disease Alliance (the country’s largest patient and public health organization and the largest scientific association), struck an alarming note and demanded that the government take immediate action to address the issue.By the 2040s, Finns will no longer to be able to perform a number of jobs that are key for the very functioning of society unless action is taken, Juha Viertola, the executive director of the Finnish Diabetes Association, warned in a striking note.”You of course need physical capabilities to perform in the Defense Force, but there are concerns also about other occupations, such as rescue workers and first responders. This is an extremely serious question for the very functioning of our society,” Viertola told national media.His plea was echoed by Soste secretary general Vertti Kiukas, who instead focused on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle for both citizens and state coffers.

"Better public health would increase employment, healthy life years and well-being, as well as reduce basic health care and hospital care costs. Investments are needed, especially in preventative work and work that promotes public health," he said.

The organizations hereby called on the country’s future government, which is yet in the making following a general election, to introduce society-wide measures that promote healthier lifestyles, be it by adjusting tax rates on food and physical exercise or by altering municipal zoning in order to promote walking and cycling, which both encourage physical activity.A policy program to boost physical activity among the public was estimated to generate significant cost savings for the next government, whereas a lack of physical efforts is said to cost the Finnish society about 3.5 billion euros. Efforts to prevent diabetes alone were estimated to generate Finland one billion euros in savings.Fat Chance: Sweden’s Obesity Hits Max as Half of Population Tackles Excess Weight10 March, 07:58 GMTEarlier, the Finnish Defense Forces said they were reviewing standards amid a general drop in the physical condition of youths in order to accommodate less fit conscripts. The idea is to train more crews for less physically demanding tasks, such as cyberdefence, communications, or logistics.Previously, obesity has been named as one of the key factors influencing Finns’ ill health, ranging from diabetes to cardiovascular diseases. Between 1978 and 2017, the prevalence of obesity in Finland soared from 12.0 to 26.1 percent among men and from 18.9 percent to 27.5 percent among women, with the issue showing no respite even in recent years.

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