Porträtt på Suzanne Lundvall.
Suzanne Lundvall.

New professor wants to develop the school subject sport and health


At the age of 18 Suzanne Lundvall won a gold medal in artistic gymnastics at the Swedish Championships. After a long career, first as a PE teacher and then a researcher, she is now employed as a professor of sport science at the Faculty of Education. The position has been made possible through the faculty's strategic programme for investment in research.

"The strategic investment that has been made and the focus area of the professorship is extremely interesting and exciting to be part of", says Suzanne Lundvall.

Suzanne Lundvall will take up the position on September 1 at the Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science (IKI). She is currently the head of the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm. But her interest in sport started early in life. She competed in gymnastics and won gold medals in artistic gymnastics in both the Swedish Championships and the Junior Swedish Championships, as well as a gold medal on the beam in the Nordic Championships. She then worked as a physical education teacher before receiving her doctorate in 2003 with a thesis on gymnastics in teacher training and started to conduct research at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences.

"I have mainly researched learning processes in the school subject of physical education, as well as young people's participation in extra-curricular sports and other forms of exercise, such as outdoor pursuits and dance. My interest in field research has also grown over the years and I think there is great potential here for the research field to which I belong."

Physical Education – a school subject undergoing change
Suzanne Lundvall says that her research, as well as that of her other colleagues, on the need for physical activity has ultimately convinced the government to increase the amount of time that is allocated to the subject, physical education. Another result she sees from her research is that the content of physical education teacher training is changing, as is the school subject itself.

"Previously, there has been a dominance of forms of teaching and subject content that was based on traditional competition logic and lack of equality, but today we are seeing a gradual change where other perspectives, such as daily exercise, is given greater prominence."

Outside the school world, her research has shown, among other things, the importance of a comprehensive range of movement skills at a young age for people's choice (or opt-out) of physical activity later in life.

"An important issue to continue exploring is therefore how the school subject can contribute to stimulating the development of comprehensive movement skills in young people."

Involved in several research projects
At the moment, Suzanne Lundvall is involved in, among other things, a ULF project that aims to develop the teaching of physical education in an area that has a high proportion of students with different backgrounds. In another project, Suzanne Lundvall and her colleagues are studying how young people's recreational habits change when sports and outdoor pursuits are challenged by digital leisure activities.

What would you like to contribute to IKI?
"I hope that together with the staff at IKI, we can contribute to strengthening and developing education and research in the subject of sport science and the school subject of physical education."

 This includes continued national and international collaboration in areas that already exist at IKI, but also in areas that need to take the next step, such as sustainability issues in the school subject of physical education, learning processes regarding children's and young people's movement skills and inclusive education in sports – regardless of whether it relates to school sports or extra-curricular sporting activities.

More information: Suzanne Lundvall, email:, phone: 073-368 68 87.