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Ulrik Röijezon, researchers in physical therapy. Photo: Erica Long

The universitys major investment in the musicians health

Published: 13 June 2013

In June the first Nordic conference on musicians health held at Luleå University of Technology, was organized. The university has become one of the leading players in Sweden within the area.

Luleå University of Technology and the Department of Health Sciences is one of the most driving forces in the country to work for musicians' health. One of the initiatives is the conference Musicians' Health and Performance. 1st Nordic Conference in 2013, which focuses on the neglected occupational groups health with workshops, presentations and speakers from the Nordic countries and elsewhere.

New nationwide project

The conference will also be the starting point for the project Nationwide Occupational Healthcare for Artists and Musicians, which will develop occupational health services for musicians and artists. Department of Health Sciences is leading the project along with representatives from other key stakeholders, such as trade unions, occupational healthcompanies and research groups. The aim is to create a national network of stakeholders.
- Sweden is one step behind countries as Australia, USA and England to have a specialized occupational and medical expertise aimed at musicians and artists. The area is under construction and the project is an important part of development. The conference is a good opportunity to find sponsors to create a wide network, says Ulrik Röijezon, project managers and researchers in physical therapy.

The idea is to spread expertise in the area and offer services regardless of the location and type of employment. The results of the project will live on with a nationwide network with a common website where actors, specialist clinics, occupational and other offering services in the area, can register to interact and create teams across the country.

While training to be held within musicians' health and needs in different categories and professions.
- The conference will start the process and we will finish the day two and a panel discussion on the issues and how we move forward, says Ulrik Röijezon.

Study of jazz musicians' health

At the conference physiotherapy students at the university presents with Ulrik Röijezon results of a smaller study done in a big band orchestra in Norrbotten. The pilot study focused on professional jazz musicians and health problems, a group of musicians is very little studied. In comparison with other recent studies done in symphony and opera musicians in Denmark and England had jazz musicians far less trouble.
- The study is so small that we can only speculate about the results, but we would like to study this in a larger scale. Perhaps there is something in their work situation that would be beneficial to other professional musicians groups.

The University's major initiatives

The Department of Health Sciences at Luleå University is also building a state-of-art laboratory, which enables analysis of musicians' movements and motion control. The uniqueness of the motion lab is that five of the six departments in universities see opportunities for collaboration in innovation, research and education. The laboratory is expected to begin service in the fall.

In addition to the conference and company project a number of projects where musicians health is in focus. Among other things, the study around jazz musicians, and later expanded to include Swedish opera and symphony orchestras.
- It is a lot going on with various projects, the laboratory and the recurring conference. It is great that  Luleå University of Technology invests heavily in the area, says Ulrik Röijezon.

During the day it was announced that the next conference Musicians' Health and Performance. 2nd Nordic Conference 2015 will be held in Odense, Denmark.


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