Her own observations together with research outcomes on the consequences
of children’s physical inactivity prompted Marke Rautiala to think of ways for
children to have more exercise. Her thoughts gave birth to an idea of a
completely new indoor exercise environment where exercise meets a virtual
play world, a familiar format for kids and one that inspires them to get active.
Children should have more physical exercise
During her career, first as an athlete competing in cross-country skiing, then a
physical education teacher, totalling nearly 20 years, a municipal officer responsible
for sports and fitness, Marke Rautiala has seen how lack of exercise can impact on
children’s lives. Her long-term observations together with studies in the field made
her want to think of ways to develop exercise that children and young people would
find more fun.
Traditional indoor exercise spaces need a rethink
Among other things, today’s information society has changed the ways people do
sports. However, indoor sports venues have failed to develop with the times.
Meanwhile, smart phones and video games still tend to be thought of as something
separate from our daily activities and exercise. Traditional methods continue to
dictate the ways we exercise. However, we think exercise should keep up with the
“I believe that kids would be much more active if they had access to
more attractive indoor spaces, which in today’s world could mean
something that combines puzzle games and sports. Since we have
lacked such spaces, somebody had to start developing them,” says
Everybody must have equal opportunities to exercise
Exercise can be a fun social activity and everybody should have opportunities to
enjoy it, irrespective of equipment, licences, entrance fees etc. Whatever the
weather, exercise should be easy to access, since even a little time engaged in
physical activity will help to activate muscles.
“My primary motivation was to keep PlayFloor free at the point of use, to
provide an exercise infrastructure with equal access for people of all
abilities,” says Marke.
From idea to execution!
Marke told about her idea to R&D experienced business manager Sari Backman
who was inspired to develop the concept into a business proposition. The idea of
an indoor exercise environment for people of all abilities was created to offer equal
opportunities to group exercise for all. In early 2016, Marke and Sari established a
limited company (Marabas Oy) to take their concept further. Now they are running
the first pilot of the PlayFloor smart exercise environment.
From the beginning of 2017, PlayFloor will be tested by more venues, with user
experiences surveyed in March 2017. The sales of PlayFloor will also begin during
the spring of 2017.
“It was easy to get excited about Marke’s idea. Seeing more kids
enjoying exercise and ensuring their equal access to sports are
something that I feel passionate about,” says Sari.
As it progresses, we will be following the PlayFloor pilot in this blog. To join our
journey, follow our website and social media channels, and subscribe to our
Marke Rautiala – Physical education and development of children and youth.
Sari Backman – Business development and R&D.
Marabas Oy conducts social and humanistic research on sports and exercise. The
Marabas mission is to introduce people to a new type of exercise culture. The first
product launched by Marabas is the PlayFloor indoor exercise environment.
PlayFloor indoor exercise environment and smart exercise concept: