Friskis&Svettis was founded on the idea that sports associations and health care should be able to benefit more from each other’s knowledge. Friskis&Svettis became an example of how they could work closer to each other under the same roof, whilst gaining experience and enthusiasm. Friskis&Svettis wanted to create a bridge between health care and fitness activities.
The "&" in the name was crucial
Friskis stood for one part of the activities, Svettis for another.
Friskis means activities for those, who for various reasons cannot
take part in normal keep fit. Svettis was training for the others.
But the symbol "&" was the crucial element, as it represented
the aim of people passing from Friskis to Svettis. Everyone should
be able to find a suitable type of training, irrespective of
whether they have been injured, are well-trained, out of shape, old
Now one entity
These days we don't really mention Friskis as one and Svettis as
the other, but the aim for everyone to be able to find a suitable
type of training is just as strong as ever, which is sometimes
manifested by Öppna dörrar and Enkel.
The story in brief:
1978 Johan Holmsäter founded Friskis&Svettis in
Stockholm. There was only one participant at the first class at
Salénshuset, Valter Axelsson. The number of members quickly rose to
1500 and in the autumn the first keep fit instructor training
course was held. The following year, Valter became an instructor
and a member of Friskis&Svettis Stockholm's board. The
Friskis&Svettis logo was designed by Lars O Laurentii over a
1979 22 September, a Jympa demonstration was held
from Humlegården to Sergels torg. The participants presented their
moves at the crossing Kungsgatan/Sveavägen. Traffic chaos ensued.
The first edition of the Friskispressen magazine was
1981 14 January, Friskis&Svettis opened its
first premises, Friskishuset at Gärdet. Summer classes started in
Rålambshov park and attracted between 700 and 1000 participants to
some of the classes.
1982 Östhammar, Göteborg, Lidingö, Östersund,
Helsingborg, Nyköping and Eskilstuna start activities outside
1983 Friskis&Svettis 5th anniversary with 28
associations in Sweden and one in Oslo. 23 000 members in
1985 Friskis&Svettis National Council
(Riksråd) is established in Malmö. The founder Johan Holmsäter
1988 Friskis&Svettis 10th anniversary with 64
associations and approx. 70 000 members.
1993 Friskis&Svettis 15th anniversary 97
associations and approx. 131 000 members.
1994 The National Council secretariat moves to
Stockholm. The first keep fit video is released.
1997 Friskis&Svettis and Friskispressen
conduct a campaign for a more exercise-friendly society. The Home
Office fax machine is jammed when the Friskis&Svettis petitions
are sent in.
1998 Friskis&Svettis 20th anniversary with116
associations and approx. 188 000 members.
1999 The second keep fit video is released.
2000 Friskis&Svettis National and
Friskispressen start an appeal for the school day to be extended
with an activity hour. The General Secretary Anna Iwarsson meets
the School Minister.
2001 29 January, Friskis&Svettis along with
other keep fit organisations break the world keep fit record as 64
782 people take part in a simultaneous keep fit class. The second
keep fit video, with a supplementary CD, is released.
2002 At the end of 2002 there are 137
Friskis&Svettis associations, of which 40 have their own
premises. 276 027 training members.
2003 Friskis&Svettis celebrated its 25 year
2006 Friskis&Svettis has approximately 376
000 members. Associations can be found in Norway, Helsinki,
Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, London
2007 442 818 members. An increase of 6.1% more
members during 2007 and an increase of 91% more members since 2000.
155 non-profit associations, 110 in Sweden, 37 In Norway, Helsinki,
Vanda, Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam, Luxembourg,
London and Aberdeen.
2008 Friskis&Svettis celebrates its 30th
anniversary with a total of 477 665 members in 156