Innovation challenge for increasing the physical activity of young people – submit your proposal now!

The City of Helsinki has launched an innovation challenge aimed at companies to promote the physical activity of young people. Through the challenge, the City is looking for innovative ways to increase the physical activity of upper secondary students and comprehensively promote well-being.

In accordance with its City Strategy (2021–2025), one of Helsinki’s goals is to be a city where the possibility for everyday physical activity grows to the point that the health of all city residents improves. Every inhabitant of every age will be encouraged to be physically active.

This innovation challenge focuses on upper secondary students. Of all people of compulsory education age, upper secondary students engage in the least amount of physical activity, with fewer than one fifth getting enough physical activity to meet the national recommendation, which is one hour of brisk and strenuous exercise per day. Furthermore, according to the School Health Promotion study (2021), the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have manifested in this age group in the form of increasing mental health problems: Social exclusion and depression and anxiety symptoms have increased significantly among young people in Helsinki.

Despite all of this, three out of four young people would like to be more physically active. Increasing physical activity has been proven to have numerous positive effects, ranging from preventing musculoskeletal disorders to alleviating psychological symptoms, such as stress and the pressure caused by school. Physical activity also has an important social dimension, the importance of which has only increased with the pandemic limiting social interaction between young people: physical activity and hobbies have a major impact on the maintenance of young people’s interaction skills and friendships.

We are looking for companies with products or services that correspond to one or more of the themes of the innovation challenges:

  • Social interaction as a promoter of physical activity among upper secondary students: Friends and social networks promote engagement in and commitment to physical activity.
  • New solutions for more effectively balancing supply and demand: There is a wide range of sports and exercise opportunities available in Helsinki, but residents’ awareness of them is often low.
  • Supporting comprehensive well-being: Supporting healthy lifestyles and establishing new healthy habits with the help of well-being technology (sleep, nutrition, physical activity).
  • Physical activity monitoring: Recording and monitoring of physical activity and exercise sessions, as well as motivating and rewarding the user.

Proposals are not expected to be complete commercial solutions, but rather products that can be developed and tested during the challenge in collaboration with users and City experts. Proposed solutions should have business potential and present an innovative approach to the challenge. Submit your proposal here.
Unfortunately, the application form is only available in Finnish. However, if you face any problems regarding the application, please contact Roope Töllikkö (roope.tollikko@hel.fi).

Proposals must be submitted by 11 February 2022 at 3:00PM EET. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Want more information?

  • Roope Töllikkö

  • Senior Advisor
    Physical Activity and Health Promotion
    City of Helsinki
    Economic Development, Innovations and New Experiments