Children should spend at least three hours a day performing physical activities, according to the Finnish government. Parents have been advised to actively encourage their children to pursue hobbies and interests that require physical exertion.Children aged eight and under have been targeted in the move. Finland is known for producing some of the most physically fit children in Europe. It also produces some of the highest academic results among schoolchildren in the developed world. Finland's Minister for Education and Culture, Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, believes this is no coincidence. Ms Grahn-Laasonen said physical activity contributed to a child's happiness and promoted learning by developing a young person's ability to interact socially. "When children exercise together they develop interaction skills and connect socially, and it's healthy, too," she toldlocal media. Anneli Rautiainen, head of basic education with the Finnish National Board of Education, told the BBC that schools would now be experimenting with new ways of teaching.
These include removing desks and chairs from some classrooms, so that children are not sitting as much while learning regular subjects. "The child has an active role. We will emphasise personalised learning. The learning environment should be modern and support different learners. In our new curriculum, we are looking at two to three hours a week of physical education and more outdoor activities. But we are also looking at non-traditional ways of teaching, some children learn very well sitting at a desk and listening, others would benefit greatly from moving around the room talking with their classmates," said Ms Rautiainen. Finland is one of the first countries to put forward these recommendations, which will use classrooms to connect physical exercise with traditional learning