A new exercise area that has recently launched at Helsinki Airport. We spoke with Katja Siberg, Finavia’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications to get all the details.
Tell us about the design inspiration. Who was the designer?
Katja: The idea for creating an exercise space comes from customer feedback we conducted. Many of the passengers had wished for a place to work out or stretch. Parents with children hoped to have a playroom, where it would be easy for the kids to release energy before a flight.
With these suggestions in mind, we decided to renew our three playrooms, one of which became a place for also adults to stretch and relax. We presented our concept to a Finnish company called Lappset Group Oy, that designed the Maja Living Room.
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When did the space open? Is it free to use?
Katja: The Maja Living Room opened this June 2019. It is open 24h a day for all those travelling from the non-Schengen area, and it is entirely free.
Why light exercise versus a full gym?
Katja: We think that light exercise room suits better for all, as this is something passengers can do with their travelling clothes on. The exercise equipment is also very easy for everyone to use, from children to adults. The long flight feels much more pleasant if one has gotten the chance to stretch and move around before a trip.
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What to know about the new exercise area at Helsinki Airport
The new exercise area includes a tatami, where passengers can stretch and do yoga. A tatami (畳) according to Wikipedia, “is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms.”
The new exercise area has a wall bar. Did you know that wall bars (also known as a gymnastics ladder, Swedish ladder, or Swedish walls) was invented at the beginning of the 19th century by Per Henrik Ling?
The bars are great for merely for climbing and the development of coordination for children. Did you ever see these ladders at elementary schools? I saw many growing up.
Here are some examples of why the ladder is suitable for stretching. One, it is a great way to get some resistance training, flexibility stretching or abdominal exercises. You can hang from a higher bar with your back facing the bar and perform abdominal workouts, or hang facing the bar to stretch your back.
The new spaced also has a balance beam and a core twister board.
We like the new exercise area at Helsinki Airport and like how space accommodates both adults and kids to stay active.
Light Exercise Is Better Than None
Sitting for prolonged periods at the airport can get you bored before you board. Some fitness, even light, can have a positive impact on our mood and help reduce stress.