Exercise – Mitigation


Climate impacts of exercise are mainly caused by emissions related to the construction and maintenance of exercise facilities. Nowadays, people also travel to do sports.

Greenhouse gas emissions related to exercise are created by exercise facilities and traffic

Climate impacts connected to exercise are mainly created by the construction and maintenance of exercise facilities, as well as from people travelling to these locations. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to drive long journeys to exercise in the environment they want and at the specific time suitable for them. This leads to unnecessary emissions. Simple exercise close to home, preferably performed outdoors, should be favoured. It is not ecologically sustainable to regularly travel further away for exercising.

With respect to exercise facilities, ice rinks, indoor public swimming pools and various exercise halls are the most notable consumers of energy. Outdoors, artificial snow skiing tracks and ice tracks, heated football fields and lighting in a range of exercise facilities are significant energy consumers.

Old and new building stock made energy economical

Municipalities can use a variety of ways to mitigate climate change related to exercise arrangements. Planning the use of land areas can influence the logistically sensible placement of buildings and other exercise facilities with respect to public traffic, for example. In Finland, town planning on different levels is directed by the Land Use and Building Act and Decree and the national land use objectives set by the Finnish Government. In mitigating climate change, key elements comprise energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources in the planning, construction and maintenance of new buildings.

Renovating older buildings to a more energy efficient direction (using heat recovery and frequency converters in forced ventilation, optimising water use and using intelligent lighting and additional insulation in the building, for example) is one of the most notable actions a municipality can take for the benefit of the climate. Greenhouse gas emissions related to buildings are mostly caused by the use of the buildings, not the actual construction phase. Therefore, planning should carefully assess buildings' environmental friendliness during their entire life cycle.

Example and information given by municipalities is of key importance

Municipalities can guide their residents' attitudes towards environmentally friendly exercise forms with their example and information provided. Environmentally friendly exercising - walking, jogging, cycling, skiing, rowing, sail boating, etc. - is the future both during leisure time and short work trips. If the exercise requires separate centralised facilities or locations (halls, fields, tracks), the municipality should improve the prerequisites for public traffic and promote the generalisation of car pooling.