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Biography [eng]

A systems perspective on human movement and health in the Arctic:  

My area of practice and research is physiotherapy. I have clinical experience in motion analysis, work physiology, health psychology and rehabilitation. A particular focus of my research is on the significance of the environment, social context and people’s self-efficacy beliefs for physical performance and mobility.

Located in the subarctic area of northern Scandinavia, my research activities include exploring prerequisites for the populations’ safety and activity in winter environments. In transdisciplinary projects, we study the construction of outdoor environments and seasonal climate variations, as well as how people’s balance control, attitudes and habits affect when a person feels comfortable to move outdoors in winter.

Also, my research includes the development of the Internet of Things, and activity recognition systems to support senior people’s active and independent living, through timely caregiving.

Biography [swe]

 

Publications (10 of 55) Show all publications
Larsson, A., Berggård, G., Rosander, P. & Gard, G. (2019). Gait speed with anti-slip devices on icy pedestrian crossings relate to perceived fall-risk and balance. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(14), Article ID 2451.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gait speed with anti-slip devices on icy pedestrian crossings relate to perceived fall-risk and balance
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 16, no 14, article id 2451Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is important to find criteria for preventive measures and appropriate assistive devices to reduce pedestrian injuries and increase walking in winter. Reducing the rate of falls on icy surfaces and improving people’s ability to safely cross a street in winter conditions by achieving an adequate walking speed, for example, need to be considered. This study explores pedestrian perceptions of fall risk, balance, and footfall transitions while using different designs for anti-slip devices on ice and snow-covered ice and relates these to measures of gait speed and friction. Trials were performed with nine pedestrians testing 19 anti-slip devices on ice and ice covered with snow. Laboratory tests of the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) on plain ice were also performed. The findings suggest that there was conformity in the participants’ perceptions of good balance and low fall risk for one-fifth of the devices (three whole-foot designs and one design with built-in spikes). We also found that gait speed on icy pedestrian crossings is related to perceived fall-risk and balance control, but not to DCOF of the anti-slip devices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basel, Switzerland: MDPI, 2019
Keywords
anti-slip device, classification, postural control, pedestrian crossing, safety, gait speed, winter conditions
National Category
Architectural Engineering Physiotherapy
Research subject
Architecture; Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75254 (URN)10.3390/ijerph16142451 (DOI)000480659300005 ()31295887 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85069835747 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, 2013/90656
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-07-11 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-07-08 Created: 2019-07-08 Last updated: 2019-09-09Bibliographically approved
Chapman, D., Nilsson, K. L., Rizzo, A. & Larsson, A. (2019). Winter City Urbanism: Enabling All Year Connectivity for Soft Mobility. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(10), Article ID 1820.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Winter City Urbanism: Enabling All Year Connectivity for Soft Mobility
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 16, no 10, article id 1820Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores connectivity for soft mobility in the winter season. Working with residents from the sub-arctic city of Luleå, Sweden, the research examines how the interaction between the built environment and winter season affects people’s use of the outdoor environment. The research questions for this study are, 1) how do residents perceive the effects of winter on an areas spatial structure and pattern of streets and pathways? and 2) what enablers and barriers impact resident soft mobility choices and use of the public realm in winter? Methods used were mental mapping and photo elicitation exercises. These were used to gain a better understanding of people’s perception of soft mobility in winter. The results were analysed to identify how soft mobility is influenced by the winter season. The discussion highlights that at the neighbourhood scale, residents perceive that the winter alters an areas spatial structure and pattern of streets and pathways. It was also seen to reduce ease of understanding of the public realm and townscape. In conclusion, it is argued that new and re-tooled town planning strategies, such as extending blue/ green infrastructure planning to include white space could help better enable all year outdoor activity in winter cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2019
Keywords
urban design, soft mobility, walkable environment, physical activity, health outcomes, active living
National Category
Architectural Engineering Physiotherapy
Research subject
Architecture; Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-70506 (URN)10.3390/ijerph16101820 (DOI)000470967500154 ()31121986 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85066831352 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-06-27 (johcin);

Artikeln har tidigare förekommit som manuskript i avhandling.

Available from: 2018-08-20 Created: 2018-08-20 Last updated: 2019-06-27Bibliographically approved
Larsson, A. & Chapman, D. (2018). Changing risks to outdoor activity in the Arctic: Resilience to climate-related community change. In: : . Paper presented at The UArctic Congress 2018, Oulu & Helsinki, Finland, September 3-7 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing risks to outdoor activity in the Arctic: Resilience to climate-related community change
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Arctic communities have over generations evolved lifestyles that fit with working and living with local conditions and seasonal variations. With climate change, however, comes evolving and unknown weather’s that these communities need to adapt too. These environmental changes may present new risk and unexpected outcomes to outdoor activity that communities will need to address.

In subarctic regions, pedestrians encounter a variety of road or pavement surface conditions, such as snow, ice, melting ice or mixed icy and snowy surfaces.  Slips and falls are a significant cause of work- and leisure-time accidents. The costs for medical care of fall-related injury treatment is high. Fear can also result in physical inactivity which is a significant population health concern worldwide. 

This presentation highlights the traditional risks associated with outdoor activity in winter and how they are changing with climate change. It does this through the analysis of survey responses about the use of outdoor public space. The survey is from 1) 344 people in the city of Luleå Sweden (Dfc climate classification area), and 2) 325 responses from people living in Dfb and Dfc climate areas across the world, e.g. Canada.

At a societal level, this change suggests that new forms of sustainable development and public policy are needed. These could help reduce costs and pressures on the health services by creating safer and more walkable arctic communities. Here costs and benefits related to inactivity and injury are high and affect both the individual and society as a whole.

National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Physiotherapy Architectural Engineering
Research subject
Physiotherapy; Architecture
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69821 (URN)
Conference
The UArctic Congress 2018, Oulu & Helsinki, Finland, September 3-7 2018
Available from: 2018-06-24 Created: 2018-06-24 Last updated: 2018-06-27Bibliographically approved
Pauelsen, M., Vikman, I., Johansson, V., Larsson, A. & Röijezon, U. (2018). Decline in sensorimotor systems explains reduced falls self-efficacy. Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology, 42, 104-110
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decline in sensorimotor systems explains reduced falls self-efficacy
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology, ISSN 1050-6411, E-ISSN 1873-5711, Vol. 42, p. 104-110Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Physical performance including balance tasks is one of the main factors explaining the variance in falls self-efficacy in older adults. Balance performance is often measured by use of gross assessment scales, which assess the result of integration of all systems involved in postural control. We aimed to investigate which measurements of postural control correlate to falls self-efficacy scores as measured by the FES-I instrument, and which sensory and motor systems best explain them. A cross sectional study was designed, in which 45 older adults performed quiet stance and limits of stability trials during which their center of pressure (CoP) excursion was recorded. Falls self-efficacy was measured using the Falls Efficacy Scale - International. Eyesight, vestibular function, proprioception, reaction time and strength were also measured. Hierarchical orthogonal projection of latent structures was used to model FES-I with the CoP trials and then with the sensory and muscle function data. Fes-I could be explained to 39%, with the eyes open trials and the limits of stability trials loading the heaviest. The base model could be explained to 40% using the sensory and muscle function data, with lower limb strength, leg proprioception, neck proprioception, reaction time and eyesight loading the heaviest.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
National Category
Physiotherapy
Research subject
Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-70143 (URN)10.1016/j.jelekin.2018.07.001 (DOI)000441876400013 ()30015133 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85049755548 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-08-08 (andbra)

Available from: 2018-07-20 Created: 2018-07-20 Last updated: 2018-12-03Bibliographically approved
Strandkvist, V., Andersson, M., Backman, H., Larsson, A., Stridsman, C. & Lindberg, A. (2018). Hand grip strength is associated with fatigue among men with COPD: epidemiological data from northern Sweden. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hand grip strength is associated with fatigue among men with COPD: epidemiological data from northern Sweden
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2018 (English)In: Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, ISSN 0959-3985, E-ISSN 1532-5040Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to investigate if hand grip strength (HGS) is associated with: 1) fatigue, and specifically clinically relevant fatigue (CRF); 2) low physical activity; and 3) fatigue independent of physical activity level, among individuals with and without COPD. Data were collected from the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden (OLIN) COPD-study in 2014. HGS was measured with a hand-grip dynamometer, fatigue and physical activity were assessed by questionnaires; FACIT-Fatigue respectively IPAQ. Among individuals with COPD (n = 389), but not without COPD (n = 442), HGS was lower among those with CRF than those without CRF, significantly so among men (p = 0.001) and close to among women (p = 0.051). HGS was not associated with physical activity levels within any of the groups. HGS was associated with fatigue among men, but not women, with COPD independent of physical activity level, age, height, and smoking habits (Beta = 0.190, 95% CI 0.061-0.319, respectively Beta = 0.048, 95% CI-0.056-0.152), while there were no corresponding significant findings among individuals without COPD. In summary, HGS was associated with CRF among individuals with COPD in this population-based study. Among men with COPD, HGS was associated with fatigue independent of physical activity level and common confounders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018
National Category
Physiotherapy Nursing
Research subject
Physiotherapy; Nursing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69970 (URN)10.1080/09593985.2018.1486490 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-06-28 Created: 2018-06-28 Last updated: 2019-08-23
Larsson, A. & Chapman, D. (2018). Outdoor human environments: the changing face of climatic barriers to soft mobility and gathering in winter communities. In: : . Paper presented at The 17th International Congress of Circumpolar Health, ICCH17, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 12-15 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Outdoor human environments: the changing face of climatic barriers to soft mobility and gathering in winter communities
2018 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: In Arctic regions, generations have evolved lifestyles that fit with working and living with local conditions and seasonal variations. With emerging climate changes new risks appear and prior individual experiences based on preconceptions of risk may not remain valid. In everyday life, soft-mobility is required in varying conditions, such as ice and snow covered surfaces, darkness, extreme weather conditions. Inability to detect environmental clues to risk is a critical aspect for injury. Also, fear and activity avoidance lead to an increased risk of physical inactivity, a significant population health concern worldwide. Methods: An explorative survey, on subjective ratings of barriers to 1) soft mobility and 2) the use of outdoor public space in winter was performed. The EAMQ –Climate survey, tailored for climatic sensitive urban design research, include dimensions of distance, ambient and terrain, and a range of weather conditions found in winter, such as sun, coldness, wind, ice and ground surface properties (ice, snow, slush). Respondents were 1) 344 people in Northern Sweden, and 2) 361 people in Canada and Scandinavia. Results: The results highlight that rain, icy surfaces and darkness are today’s most significant barriers to soft-mobility in winter. For the use of outdoor public spaces, the most significant barriers were slushy and icy surfaces, rain precipitation and darkness. Conclusions: The traditional risks associated with outdoor activity in winter are changing with climate change. Future urban design and planning for safer and more walkable winter cities need to consider a more extensive pallet of weather conditions.

National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Architectural Engineering Physiotherapy
Research subject
Physiotherapy; Architecture
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-69820 (URN)
Conference
The 17th International Congress of Circumpolar Health, ICCH17, Copenhagen, Denmark, August 12-15 2018
Note

Poster presentation. Abstract will be included in the abstract book

Available from: 2018-06-24 Created: 2018-06-24 Last updated: 2018-08-14Bibliographically approved
Gard, G., Berggård, G., Rosander, P. & Larsson, A. (2018). Pedestrians perceptions of community walking with anti-slip devices: an explorative case study. Journal of Transport and Health, 11, 202-208
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pedestrians perceptions of community walking with anti-slip devices: an explorative case study
2018 (English)In: Journal of Transport and Health, ISSN 2214-1405, E-ISSN 2214-1405, Vol. 11, p. 202-208Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The risk of falls on slippery surfaces during wintertime is a public safety problem in the Nordic region in the Arctic. The aim of this case study was to explore pedestrians perceptions of walking safety, balance, slipping risk, priority for own use and subjective criteria for a well functioning anti-slip device. An experimental set-up was utilised in which nine pedestrians tested 19 anti-slip devices by simulating walking in realistic traffic situations on four different surfaces. The pedestrians favoured devices with a high number of friction points, distributed under the whole sole (in-built) or forefoot (sandpaper). Also, a whole-foot device with a high number of spikes received high ratings in all aspects measured except in balance enabling properties. Identified subjective criteria were safe foothold, comfort, enabling a normal gait, stability, silence, and predictability. The results indicate that both anti-slip properties and balance enabling properties of the device need to be considered for safe community walking

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Anti-slip device, Usability, Walking safety, Balance, Pedestrian, Population health, Arctic
National Category
Physiotherapy Architectural Engineering
Research subject
Physiotherapy; Architecture
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-70755 (URN)10.1016/j.jth.2018.09.001 (DOI)000454589000023 ()2-s2.0-85053180535 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-12-06 (svasva)

Available from: 2018-09-04 Created: 2018-09-04 Last updated: 2019-01-28Bibliographically approved
Larsson, A., Westerberg, M., Karlqvist, L. & Gard, G. (2018). Teamwork and Safety Climate in home care: a mixed method study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(11), Article ID 2495.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teamwork and Safety Climate in home care: a mixed method study
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 15, no 11, article id 2495Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A rapidly changing homecare service sector implies difficulties to control safety and health risks for staff and to guarantee standardised deliveries of services to recipients. This study aimed to describe staff perceptions of safety climate and practices in homecare service teams, and suggestions for improvements. A second aim was to identify if and how the appraisals of safety climate were related to individual perceptions of safety, mental strain and adverse events/injury. A convergent parallel mixed methods design was used. Nursing assistants and care aides (133 in total, representing 11 work teams) in the north of Sweden replied to a survey and participated in focus group interviews. Results were analysed with ANOVA (inter-team differences) and by qualitative content analysis. Significant diversity was identified between the teams in five of seven dimensions of safety climate. Important areas for improvement were: a need to define and agree on criteria for a safe working environment; leadership prioritising safety at work; and management able to provide trust, support and time. A prerequisite for these agreements was improved authority and communication between all parties involved. The safety climate dimensions were related to personal perceptions of safety and mental strain and, partly, to adverse events/injuries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basel, Switzerland: MDPI, 2018
Keywords
health services research, risk management, safety climate, teamwork, quality improvement, mental strain, injury
National Category
Physiotherapy Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Physiotherapy; Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-71431 (URN)10.3390/ijerph15112495 (DOI)30413052 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85056383384 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-11-15 (johcin)

Available from: 2018-11-05 Created: 2018-11-05 Last updated: 2019-09-13Bibliographically approved
Chapman, D., Nilsson, K., Rizzo, A. & Larsson, A. (2018). Updating winter: the importance of climate-sensitive urban design for winter settlements. Arctic Yearbook
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Updating winter: the importance of climate-sensitive urban design for winter settlements
2018 (English)In: Arctic Yearbook, ISSN 2298–2418Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores winter settlement urban design principles to begin to identify climate related conditions that are affecting soft mobility (walking and cycling) in these communities.

Winter communities have evolved lifestyles and means that fit with working and living with local conditions and seasonal variations. With climate change, however, comes evolving weather’s that these communities need to adapt too. These changes may present new risks and unexpected challenges to outdoor soft mobility in the community.

Public policy highlights physical inactivity as a major health concern. For these communities, winter has always limited outdoor soft-mobility. Here, we understand that in winter outdoor activity can be reduced by weather and fear of accidents.

People’s understanding of the barriers and enablers to soft mobility are also often based on experience and ability to detect environmental clues. To help winter communities maximise the opportunities for outdoor soft mobility and the wellbeing benefits this can bring, built environments need to be designed with an understanding of climate change. 

This study explores barriers and enablers to soft mobility in winter and discusses them in light of climate change and human wellbeing. It is argued that established principles of urban design may require re-evaluation if we want to increase outdoor soft mobility in winter. Increases in physical activity could help reduce costs and pressures on health services by creating safer and more walkable communities. The paper concludes by suggesting that communities should focus on more context based winter urban design principles that account for ongoing climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Northern Research Forum ; University of the Arctic Thematic Network (TN) on Geopolitics and Security, 2018
Keywords
Winter cities, winter settlements, urban form, soft mobility, wellbeing, climate change
National Category
Engineering and Technology Physiotherapy Architectural Engineering
Research subject
Architecture; Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-70505 (URN)
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 1;2018-11-08 (svasva)

Available from: 2018-08-20 Created: 2018-08-20 Last updated: 2019-05-21Bibliographically approved
Chapman, D., Nilsson, K., Larsson, A. & Rizzo, A. (2017). Climatic barriers to soft-mobility in winter: Lulea, Sweden as case study. Sustainable cities and society, 35, 574-580
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climatic barriers to soft-mobility in winter: Lulea, Sweden as case study
2017 (English)In: Sustainable cities and society, ISSN 2210-6707, Vol. 35, p. 574-580Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Urban form can moderate the effects of weather on human movement. As such, the interrelationship between built environment, weather and human movement is a critical component of urban design. This paper explores the impacts of weather on non-motorised human movement (soft-mobility). Throughout we look at soft-mobility from the citizen’s perspective and highlight the barriers to soft-mobility in winter.

The aim of this study was to test the traditional pallet of winter city urban design considerations. Those of solar-access, wind and snow management and explore other weather and terrain conditions that act as barriers to soft-mobility in winter. This study is based on survey responses from 344 citizens in the sub-arctic area of Sweden. Outcomes from the research highlight that rain, icy surfaces and darkness are today’s most significant barriers to soft-mobility in winter.

Results from this study link changing barriers to soft-mobility in winter with climate change. The paper concludes that future urban design and planning for winter cities needs to consider a wider pallet of weather conditions, especially rain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Winter Cities, Resilience, Outdoor Activity, Walkability, Urban Microclimate
National Category
Social Sciences Architectural Engineering Physiotherapy
Research subject
Architecture; Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-65555 (URN)10.1016/j.scs.2017.09.003 (DOI)000415898200049 ()2-s2.0-85029311543 (Scopus ID)
Note

Validerad;2017;Nivå 2;2017-09-14 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-09-10 Created: 2017-09-10 Last updated: 2019-05-21Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-3619-2297

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