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The influence of warm weather and outdoor - environment design on preschoolers physical activities and thermal comfort

Research project

Short description

The purpose of this project is to investigate how weather and the design of preschool's outdoor environment affect preschooler’s outdoor activities and thermal comfort. We will use meteorological observations and model simulations to create thermal maps of selected preschools, and children's activity and thermal comfort will be observed.

We will study how the outdoor thermal environment differs between preschools and also how heat stress is expected to change in a future climate. Furthermore, pre-school teacher’s knowledge how heat affects children's movement and well-being will be examined. The result will provide knowledge of the linkage between weather and children's outdoor activities and thermal comfort as well as how to best design preschool outdoor environments in order to promote children's movement and well-being.


About the project

The summer of 2018 was one of the warmest experienced in Sweden. The heat wave led to forest fires and water supply problems, but also to heat stress among the population. Preschool children spend a large amount of their time outdoors and the effects of weather and outdoor environment design on children's thermal comfort are not clear. Methods for estimating thermal comfort and physiological stress outdoors are not developed or adjusted for children. By better understanding how weather affects children's thermal comfort, measures can be taken to reduce heat stress and increase children's health and well-being.

The purpose of this project is to investigate how weather and the design of preschool's outdoor environment affect preschooler’s outdoor activities and thermal comfort. We will use meteorological observations and model simulations to create thermal maps of selected preschools, 
and children's activity and thermal comfort will be observed. We will study how the outdoor thermal environment differs between preschools and also how heat stress is expected to change in a future climate. Furthermore, pre-school teacher’s knowledge how heat affects children's movement and well-being will be examined. The result will provide knowledge of the linkage between weather and children's outdoor activities and thermal comfort as well as how to best design preschool outdoor environments in order to promote children's movement and well-being.