Lecturer Lotta Berglund Health Sciences, project Manager Mia Tossavainen, Health Sciences professor Kristina L. Nilsson in architecture and lecturer Catrine Kostenius in Health Sciences.

Health on thin ice

Published: 20 September 2012

A team of researchers from Luleå University of Technology has received regional funding to examine how cold, ice, darkness and snow can be used as a resource for good health. Health Preliminary investigation on thin ice will provide a better basis for the planning of attractive outdoor environment that encourages physical activity in cold climates.

- Cooperation in the project between researchers from the Group of Health promotion and the researchgroup in Architecture is new. Here, the two areas of expertise get together and we get a more complete vision and development in health, as both groups are working with. The meeting between people with different knowledge and experience means that barriers are broken and something new can be created, says project manager Mia Tossavainen.

The preliminary investigation includes two workshops and now the first workshop was held in Luleå with the four researchers and 25 experts which in different ways, work with people. Pensioners, students and municipal employees were some of the different expert groups who participated. They will jointly determine how to proceed in order to find out what attracts people to move outdoors in winter.

The next workshop will be held in Pajala and then  the focus is on how the outdoor environments can be planned and built. Then experts in the planning and design from Pajala and Luleå are participating as well as the Swedish Transport Administration, BDX and Lulebo.

The environments will be built in Luleå and Pajala and to stimulate better health, settlements and the establishment of new businesses. The methodology is based on people's perception of what is attractive and healthy.

The regional funds come from Norrbotten County Council and the county Board of Norrbotten. Department of Health Sciences, LTU, is he applicant and the project manager Mia Tossavainen will lead and organize the work. A cooperation is held by the scientific leaders who are Catrine Kostenius (Health Sciences), and Kristina L. Nilsson (Architecture) and co-financiers Tyréns AB, Northland Resources, Luleå Municipality (City Planning) and Pajala. Lotta Berglund (Health Sciences)is also part of the project team