One of the children’s playgrounds in Helsinki Airport’s non-Schengen area has been expanded and redesigned as an activity area also suited for adults. The area includes a tatami, where passengers can stretch and do yoga, as well as exercise equipment such as wall bars, a balance beam and a core twister board. The area is well-suited for light exercise routines that don’t necessarily require a change of clothes.
“We’ve received request from our customers for a space where they could move and stretch between flights. It’s a chance to counterbalance the sitting and waiting that is often part of travelling. Finavia wanted to meet this need, so we completely renewed one of the playgrounds to create a new space which helps both adults and kids stay active,” Johanna Laakso, Customer Experience Manager at Helsinki Airport, explains.
Long-haul flights can be tough for the body
Long-haul flights include long stretches of sitting still with only a few opportunities to move around, which can cause stiffness and aches in the body. Sitting is especially heavy for the back, all the way from the neck to your legs.
“Too much sitting has negative effects on your health. It strains the body’s supporting structure unilaterally and may cause neck and back pains,” says Anni Rahtu, a personal trainer who flies frequently between London and Helsinki.
Even light exercise can have a great impact
A good way of spending time between flights is by doing light exercises. Rahtu encourages passengers to try the new activation space at Helsinki Airport:
“The soft platform is good for doing some stretches. You can lift your feet up and do a few forward-bends to stretch the whole back line from your neck to calves. The core twister board activates the spine quite nicely, and the major muscle groups can be awakened with some squats.”
What if you have an outfit that isn’t suitable for stretching and big movements? Rahtu reminds that walking is an excellent form of exercise between flights, and just hanging from a wall bar can do magic for the spine.
“Exercise doesn’t always have to be intense. Even a short routine between flights can have a great impact. In addition to increasing wellbeing and vitality, it can improve concentration and effectiveness.”