October 28, 2023 #NordicTalks2023 – Friluftsliv

Saturday 28 October 2023
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An active outdoor lifestyle promotes health, reduces stress, and improves team performance!

Last weekend, experts, scientists, and business leaders from the Nordic countries presented a series of presentations showing that ‘Friluftsliv’—outdoor recreation—brings countless benefits. It increases the learning capacity of young people, promotes inclusion and social equality, and contributes to personal health.


“By activating 1,000 adults, we will prevent 10 premature deaths, 20 cases of type 2 diabetes, 50 cases of heart attacks, and 150 cases of high blood pressure” stated Johan Faskunger of the Swedish Association of Outdoor Organizations. The positive effects on work were also emphasized. “Allow your staff to exercise during working hours and meet outside—this reduces stress and anxiety levels and leads to less absenteeism” said Dane Henrik Olssen from 80/20 Toolbox coach. After his company introduced a daily half-hour collective training outdoors, profits have increased by 80% in recent years.


It does not have to be complicated. Walking, cycling, or running for at least 30 minutes a day is feasible almost everywhere, including in the Netherlands, according to experts from the five Nordic countries. Even in densely populated areas, you can find a park, meadow, or beach next to the office because the closer, the better. The advice to Dutch municipalities is, therefore, to plan green areas within a radius of 5 km.


An additional advantage is that people who are often active outdoors naturally become more environmentally conscious. Taking this aspect into account when designing cities also contributes to a sustainable future. The initiators of this event, the Embassies of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden and the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Chambers of Commerce in the Netherlands hope to inspire more Dutch people to discover ‘Friluftsliv’ with the evidence provided.


This weekend brought to light the far-reaching benefits of incorporating outdoor activities into our lives, underscoring the importance of a holistic approach to well-being. We would like to thank all the speakers, collaborators, Nordic Days, and attendees who participated in the inspiring #NordicTalks2023!


The #NordicTalks2023 Seminar was organized by the Nordic Chambers of Commerce and Nordic Embassies in the Netherlands, and we were very proud that the Nordic Ambassadors held the Opening Ceremony of Nordic Talks, and joined the presentation to share the latest insights from their countries:

  • H.E. Ambassador of Denmark, Mr. Jarl Frijs-Madsen
  • H.E. Ambassador of Finland Mr. Ilkka-Pekka Similä
  • H.E. Ambassador of Sweden, Mr. Johannes Oljelund
  • H.E. Ambassador of Norway, Mr Bård Ivar Svendsen
  • H.E. Ambassador of Iceland, Mr. Kristján Andri Stefánsson


Moderator and Speakers: 



“Benefits of Outdoor Recreation and Access to Nature” by the Swedish Association for Outdoor Organizations

At the #NordicTalks2023, we heard about the latest research demonstrating the positive impact that the Nordic culture of active and healthy outdoor life has on individual health, public well-being, and wider societal benefits. These findings were addressed in the latest report by The Swedish Association for Outdoor Organisations (Svenskt Friluftsliv) Benefits of Outdoor Recreation and Access to Nature, which provided an overview of the societal effects of the Nordic connection to nature. As a main contributor to the report, event speaker Johan Faskunger shared his insights on the report and its findings.

Click here to download the report.



Thank you to our generous sponsors:  


Photo credits: Hanne Hansen