Our Path promotes health and wellbeing under 4 themes: physical activity, rest, nature and community. Our slogan is: Move and enjoy yourself in Central Finland.
Our Path is based on voluntary involvement of active members and professionals of health care, physical education, educational establishments and national parks. Core group has 5 to 7 actors from 5 organisations, having Our Path as a part of their job description.
Our Path aims on long-lasting outdoor life oriented behavioural change in the population. Time span is 30 years. Operational goals vary with different population segments and ongoing trends of society. Health related use of local nature locations and forests is promoted under two concepts: Central Finland Health Forests, for health care organizations and Our Forests, for everyone.
Tools for both municipalities and individual citizens are developed, to make active lifestyle and physical exams accessible. The impact of these initiatives is investigated in local universities and Finnish National Institute of Wellfare. For individuals and groups, activity challenges are presented in Our Path website. These free of charge challenges are tailored for all seasons and all weather conditions.
Relaxing and exercising regularly in a nearby forest could have a profound effect on wellbeing. Visiting national parks and very silent nature reserves is encouraged, serving a source of most autenthic nature experience.
Beneficiaries are municipalities and inhabitants. With support of Our Path-municipality hosts, well-being paths based on local needs are tailored - leading people to their nearby nature trails.
Variety of 2 to 4 specialists of physical activity, well-being and health, depending of the topic. 1 network facilitator and 1 communication manager. Everyone is working on voluntary base, having Our Path as a part of their job description. Resourcing is 2 to 6 hours weekly per each specialist.
Evidence of success
Our path connects wellbeing expertise and public health care to healing and wellbeing processes, using nearby nature and existing public local trail network. Our Path website is serving as a holistic information board.
Our Path is strengthening the human relationship to nature and silence as a resource of wellbeing. Other regions in Finland have shown interest in adopting the concept. Our path was honoured by Central Finland Wellbeing Act of the Year award 2018.
Potential for learning or transfer
Our Path is a unique concept that is easy to adopt.
Our Path follows and carries out national level welfare and health promotion policies. Concept can be connected to regional strategies and policies.
Our path is a holistic approach to wellbeing, with mental and physical aspects equally present and reachable for everyone. It gathers together a wide range of actors from different sectors of the society. It is an open concept, anyone can join in the planning and spreading the practice. The practice draws its strength from the nations collective identity connected to nature. No extra costs after the concept has been implemented, as it exploits the already existing nearby environment.
•National strengths are harnessed in promoting health and well-being
• Municipality host model
Conditions required to develop the practice in other contexts:
• Shared values and common goals
• Recognition of national and local features in creating unique path network
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