Ulrik Röijezon, researcher at Luleå University of Technology Photo. Erica Long

A unique motion laboratory

Published: 22 November 2012

A new laboratory where the focus is on analyzing the movement and motion control is currently being developed at the Department of Health Sciences at Luleå University of Technology. It will include balance control of ice hockey players after a concussion.

- A motion Laboratory is unique thanks to its ability to interagency cooperation in technology, health sciences, and arts education, innovation and research, says Ulrik Röijezon, lecturer at the Department of Health.

There are already a number of plans where the new motion laboratory has  a critical role, for example in the study of motor control in musicians with pain in muscles, joints and nerves, known as musculoskeletal disorders, fall risk among elderly, motor control and learning in sports and balance control of hockey players who suffered a concussion.

- The lab provides the opportunity for objective measurements of motion and motor control, a possibility that we didn´t have before. At the Department of Health Sciences, this is especially important for our programs in occupational therapy  and physicaltherapy, including our new Master of Orthopaedic Manual Therapy (OMT) in Physiotherapy, says Ulrik Röijezon.

Corresponding needs are present at technical departments at Luleå University of Technology, such as, teaching and research in ergonomics, analysis of motion and motor control in robot construction and innovation of technical equipment for motion and analysis.

- Additionally, assessments of motor control in playing musical instruments and dancing can increase our knowledge about health and performance among performing artists, says Ulrik Röijezon.

The University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark has extensive experience in research on human motor control and laboratory measuring equipment that is current to be bought in to the new laboratory at Luleå University. Ulrik Röijeson takes part  of their experience, and together they develop methods for measuring motor control in musicians playing musical instruments.

- It's a great opportunity to be able to test the equipment and develop methods before purchasing our own laboratory equipment, he says.

The main focus in terms of equipment is therefore to complement the laboratory with equipment such as a system for  3D motion analysis, force plates, EMG- apparatures  and ultrasound scanner. Kempe Foundation has provided a grant of 1 100 000 Skr for the development of the lab. For the laboratory to be complete, additional funds are applied for at LTU's Labfond. A decision is expected shortly. Within six months, the lab is expected to be completed.

Text: Erica Lång