The lack of suitable devices for exercise that can be used by young people and special need groups inspired gymnastics teacher Erkki Tervo to develop new types of exercise devices and drills that aim to engender a feeling of success in their users. The children at the pilot school were encouraged to exercise through play. Soon the pupils' grandparents were invited to join the project and Jyväskylä's city sports and exercise division also got interested in the project. The Ikämoto Gymnastics For All training circuit was developed jointly by the University of Jyväskylä and the City of Jyväskylä in 2007. The aim was to develop a new, unusual type of gymnastics exercises for older people.
HUMAN TECH SOLUTION
The Ikämoto Gymnastics For All training circuit is used all over Finland and is based on apparatus gymnastics exercises. The exercises last for one hour and include versatile jumping, balancing, agility and muscle building exercises that put the whole body to work. Warm up and stretching exercises are not overlooked. The exercises gradually become more and more demanding as the individual gets positive experiences and his or her level of confidence and body control improves. The best thing about these exercises is that they can be done by everyone and anyone, including those with special needs, regardless of age and physical condition. Exercising in a team consisting of individuals that are of the same age has a positive effect on both the body and the mind. The exercise devices are kept in a trailer and are easy to unload and move around. Schools, for example, have purchased these devices jointly with other schools.
Ikämoto exercises are a fine example of Jyväskylä University Sport and Health Science faculty's internationally respected research know-how in practice. Different studies show that the motor skills of both young children and older people are becoming weaker. It is obvious that good physical health and balance help to maintain an individual's own capacities and good quality of life, even in old age. It all results in diminishing the amount of injuries arising from falls among ageing people and the cost that these injuries cause to society. It is clear that people get hooked on these exercises, as many people go to train by themselves outside the two guided lectures each week. The oldest participants are over 80 years old. These free training programmes and videos are uploaded thousands of times a year, both domestically and abroad. It is impossible to say how many people are exercising with the help of this great concept.
Human Tech Center Finland brings together international experts, researchers and companies to jointly develop new successful products from a human perspective and, at the same time, humanize these products. It is not a company but rather an entire area and a way of thinking. A centre for expertise in Jyväskylä in the heart of Central Finland. Welcome aboard.
HTC's impetus is provided by Jyväskylä Regional Development Company Jykes Ltd, the City of Jyväskylä, the University of Jyväskylä, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä Educational Consortium, Jyväskylä Innovation Ltd, Ääneseudun Kehitys Ltd, Jämsek Ltd and the Regional Council of Central Finland.