The physical activity behavior of children in Finland (LIITU or Lasten ja nuorten liikuntakäyttäytyminen Suomessa in Finnish) study is a national follow-up study. It extensively surveys physical activity, behavior and culture of 7-15-year-olds. I wrote this summary based on the 2022 report of the LIITU study. You can access the entire report here (193 pages, PDF file). Disc golf was found in the study to be one of the favorite sports of children in Finland.
The 2022 report deals with data collected from children in the 7-15-year-olds age group. The data was collected in March-June 2022 with electronic surveys (n = 10,098) and physical activity meters (n = 1,525). The period of data collection coincided with the third Covid-19 wave (the threat of closing schools), the beginning of the war in Ukraine, and strikes and threats of strikes in the education sector. These factors may have influenced the willingness to participate in the study. They may have also influenced the exercise and health behavior of the participants.
Disc Golf 3rd Most Popular Among Boys, 15th Among Girls of Ages 11-15
The most common leisure physical activities in the winter reported by children of ages 11-15 were cross-country skiing, football (soccer in the US), ice skating, ice hockey and skiing. The most common summer activities were football, swimming, cycling and disc golf. Disc golf was the third most popular summer sport among boys, after football and cycling. This result was achieved when 1-3 most popular sports were asked and points for individual sports were summed up. Among girls, disc golf reached the position 15th among most popular sports during the summer. (Appendix table 2 of the report)
We Need More Organized Disc Golf Events for Children
Disc golf is doing well, but we adults should support disc golf for children more by organizing more well run events. This way parents and guardians could bring their children to such events familiar from more traditional sports. Fortunately, the Finnish Disc Golf Association has started investing in bringing disc golf into the structures of our society. See, for example, the sections School sports and Education materials on the association’s website. There’s lots of room to improve arranging organized disc golf activities for kids. On the other hand, a good feature of disc golf is also that children can practice disc golf freely with each other. without the constant guidance of adults. Adults’ guidance is familiar to kids from home, school and many hobbies.
Read also our blog post on Disc Golf Is an Antidote to Problems Caused by Too Much Sitting.
Writer: Erno Väyrynen
Published March 26, 2023
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