Physiotherapy students promoting health and well-being of school-aged children and adolescents in North Karelia, Finland

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Background: Physical activity is important for health and well-being for all ages. The recommendation for children and adolescents is at least 60 minutes moderate- to vigorous- intensity physical activity daily and two third of Finnish children achieve these recommendations. Schools have an important role in children’s physical activity and physiotherapists as experts in motor development, movement and mobility could contribute largely in this respect to children's health and wellbeing in school healthcare system. This article describes, how school physiotherapy was developed and organized in North Karelia in cooperation with Karelia University of Applied Sciences (Karelia), schools in the Joensuu region and the Siun sote- Joint municipal authority for North Karelia social and health services. Aim: The aim of the pilot project was to promote the health, well-being, and functional capacity of children and adolescent. The purpose of the school physiotherapy pilot was to build a school physiotherapy model for schools in the North Karelia region. Results: As a result of the school physiotherapy pilot, a model for school physiotherapy practice was created. Conclusion: School physiotherapy pilot was shown to be helpful in improving the activity levels and motor development of school-aged children and adolescents. It is hoped that school physiotherapy will develop further to promote the health and well-being, motor skills and functional capacity of children and adolescents through physical activity.

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