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Healthy lifestyles by learning and finding out online

The aim of the new Wellou service is to get primary school children interested in healthy food as well as outdoor activities and exercise. The national pilot project is being implemented by Beneway Oy and is being funded by Sitra, the policy programmes for health promotion and the well-being of children, youth and families, and by the National Board of Education.

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The aim of the new Wellou service is to get primary school children interested in healthy food as well as outdoor activities and exercise. Traditional teaching has been complemented using new technology and interactive methods. The national pilot project is being implemented by Beneway Oy and is being funded by Sitra, the policy programmes for health promotion and the well-being of children, youth and families, and by the National Board of Education.

The Wellou.fi health service will be launched on 22 October. It has been tested for over two years by professionals in nutrition at, for example, the University of Kuopio and in several schools. Using the interactive teaching material, children learn to make choices that promote their own health and to create healthy daily routines, such as choosing the right kind of snack. The service’s WoimaWuosi activates the children to take exercise every day.

“The service has been tested in several schools, and has been used by thousands of children. Teachers have praised the system and said that the children have taken to it extremely well,” says Harri Sulku, CEO of Beneway. Sulku believes that the service will be developed in the future and the aim is also to turn the product into a concept that can be exported.

A fun way to learn about health and lifestyles

The project will be funded during 2008–2010 by Sitra, the policy programmes for health promotion and the well-being of children, youth and families, and the National Board of Education. The service, which will be continuously updated, will be free for schools.

“If we want to improve the nation’s health, the best means to do this is to start with children. The Internet, and especially its interactivity, can be used in learning and to guide children through fun activities and games that encourage them to make healthy choices,” says Anu Harkki, Executive Director of Sitra’s Food and Nutrition Programme ERA.

According to Maija Perho and Georg Henrik Wrede, programme directors of the Government’s policy programmes, the service will effectively reach all children in primary schools and their parents and stakeholders at home, and offer new ways of learning about healthy lifestyles.

The service will be available in Swedish in the new year with funding from the National Board of Education.
“We consider it important that this material is available equally for all schools,” says Kaisa Vähähyyppä, Counsellor of Education at the National Board of Education.

Further information

Sitra, Food and Nutrition Programme ERA
Anu Harkki, tel. +358 9 6189 9458 or +358 50 431 1651
Markku Mikola, tel. +358 9 6189 9235 or +358 40 771 8030
firstname.lastname@sitra.fi

Beneway Oy
Harri Sulku, tel. +358 400 355 592 firstname.lastname@beneway.fi

Policy programme for the well-being of children, youth and families
Georg Henrik Wrede, tel. +358 9 1607 7900 or +358 400 810 077

Policy programme for health promotion
Maija Perho, tel. +358 9 1607 2409 or +358 50 443 0805

National Board of Education
Kaisa Vähähyyppä, tel. +358 40 348 7702

The Wellou.fi health service (in Finnish) »

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