She introduced winter cycling to children

Since 2016, researcher Anna-Karin Lindqvist at Luleå University of Technology has run the project Active School Transport, where gamification and empowerment are essential.

How did you get the idea?

“I had previously being doing research on children and physical activity. Over the years I had come to realise the importance of  the end-user, in this case the children and teachers, being involved in designing an idea in order to get them motivated and engaged. Making kids to bike or walk to school was not a new idea in itself, but adding gamification and enpowerment proved to be successful. Soon we saw more of cheerful children, enthusiastic parents, happy teachers and a stronger community of students.

In what way were the children involved designing of the project?

“Winter biking for children did not exist so we sat down with children in the target group (12-13 years old) and asked what would motivate them to cycle in the winter. The children had ideas we would never have thought of, for example that it would be good to have a hot drink when they arrived at school. The first day of the project was -31 degrees outside, but in the schoolyard, where hot chocolate was served, there was an atmosphere of carnival!”

Background

Anna-Karin Lindqvist has made use of the innovation support services that LTU Business offers free of charge to students, researchers and staff at Luleå University of Technology. Innovation support may include, for example, confidential advice on idea development, financing or intellectual property rights.