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Photo: Anna-Karin Lindqvist
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Active school transportation gives children better health

Published: 3 May 2016

The number of children who reach the recommended level of 60 minutes of daily physical activity is low. In addition, children walking and cycling to and from school declined sharply in recent decades. Now, a project is implemented at Luleå University of Technology in collaboration with Luleå Municipality to find ways to increase children's active school transport and reverse the trend.

– The knowledge from this project will provide key components to a lasting increase children's active school transport and thus provide a positive impact on children's health and learning abilities, says Anna-Karin Lindqvist, researcher in physiotherapy at Luleå University of Technology.

Active school transportation is an important research area both from the health, environmental and road safety point of view. Physical activity not only provides great health benefits for children it also increases their ability to perform well in school. A growing problem is that the parking spaces at schools has become an increasingly dangerous place because there are many parents who drive their children to school.

– Unfortunately, many previous measures to increase children´s physical activity have not yielded lasting results, possibly because of the needs of the end users are not given enough influence. There is extensive research showing that empowerment improves implementation and increases the likelihood that effective measures are maintained, says Stina Rutberg, senior lecturer in physiotherapy at Luleå University of Technology.

Research has also shown that gamification has a great potential for children's motivation and learning. Right now is a pilot study conducted using empowerment and gamification.

The project is co-funded by Luleå Public Health Fund and Luleå University of Technology.


Empowerment: An individual should feel that he/her has the power over his/her own situation, working tasks and environment.

Gamification: Using game design and game think about other things than games in order to reinforce behavior.

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