Ageing society, increase of lifestyle related illnesses, lack of service, infrastructure and access to ICT



Lifestyle courses for inhabitans (ICT based), Attention, communication and PR, improved infrastructure, multidisiplinary working groups. 



Lack of infrastructure and ICT access, history, culture and habits.



Interactive website facilitating lifestyle improvement.



On the south/west coast of Norway there is a small municipality nemed Finnøy. People (about 3050) lived on 16 different islands in beautifull surroundings. The problem is that a lot of people were struggling with a veriety of lifestyle challenges. The populaitin is ageing, the lifestyle related illnesses are significant, the old people dies- few babies are born, the infrastructure is insufficient and few jobs are available. On top og this, large parts og the municipality has incomplete ICT access.


In the welfare and lifestyle project we develope an interactive website facilitating lifestyle improvement. We started with 12 weeks lifestyle course, open for all and free of charge. All participants get access to the interactive website and the health staff could do the individual guidance true the website. That improved the service, the access to ICT and innovation in health. Individal plan in physical activity, motiavation and nutrition were the main issue in the lifestyle course.

A touching summary from the cheif mubicipality medical officer in Finnøy, Dr. Med. Eivind Vestbø follows:

An effect of the investments enabled by Vital Rural Area is that doctors now have the opportunity to refer high-risk and secondary prevention patients to the Lifestyle courses.

The Lifestyle program has connected the inhabitants of many islands, linking people together through mutual attrction and public attention around the project.

Increased focus on lifestyle makes it easier for doctors to get approval for counseling in the consulations for those who need it most.

The poject has "opened the door" for more articles on health in the local newspaper. Among other things, the health departement now has a regular health column in the newspaper.

The project will very likely contribute to implement the Public Health Act in the municipality and giving it greater attention.

The combination of motivation for physical activity and the establishing of a network of natural trails have probably inspired the inhabitants to seek natural experiences to a greater extent on other islands. This also helps to incerase the sense of community that has largely been lacking until now.

The Lifestyle program has brought inexperienced ICT users to the ICT world. This is imporatnt for helping people in marginal health groups to cope.

The Lifestyle program can have the spin off effect to making people mora aware of the unique nature in their neighborhood and use it more for recreation and health purposes in the future.

The project has made the municipality of Finnøy more familiar and attractive for families considering moving to the islands- "important things are going on there".

The health care staff is more proud of their jobs and very likely to think more in the direction of preventive health care as a result of the Vital Rural Area project.



1. Infrastructure (depending on ferry/ boats to come to the community centre)

2. ICT- incomplete broad band supply

3. Lack of communication between health personell and the public.

4. Lack of Cross-sectorial communication.



1. Establishing an interactive website for information about lifestyle and interactive guidance to facilitate people to participate in a 12- week lifestyle course.

2. Help from the County Council to put pressure on suppliers and re-negotation of broadband deliviry contracts (added value- cables were laid during the subsea tunnel construction)

3. Establishing of cross- sectorial meeting places for improved communication between sectors. For example regular meetings, seminars, workshops and highly succesful regional conference. å direct result of the Vital Rural Area input.