Lin Ivarsson

Enhancing Physical Activity

among Design Management students at HSLU

What is the current situation and the systematic problem I’m addressing?  Last semester (autumn 2022), 4/5 3rd design management international (DMI) students were physically inactive; also, WHO reports that insufficient physical activity is the 4th leading risk factor for mortality. Approximately 3.2 million deaths yearly are attributable to insufficient physical activity because of the increased risk of contracting several non-communicable diseases. This problem affects individuals, their families, society, and the economy.

Physical inactivity among university students is a growing concern worldwide, including in Switzerland. Despite its prevalence, current research lacks an understanding of the factors contributing to physical activity among Swiss university students. This thesis, therefore, aims to uncover the barriers and enablers to physical activity in the students› ecosystem and create a design strategy to transform the current situation and enhance physical activity levels among the students in the DMI program.

What can we do to transform the current situation?  A participatory design approach was used to understand the current situation and to get a holistic view of the problem and the system within. Through research and expert feedback, the strategy» Design Movements» was created to transform the current situation. The strategy aims to enhance students› physical activity levels by establishing a community that fosters interdisciplinary connections, positive peer- support, and knowledge sharing, with the ultimate goal of creating a more regenerative environment for students. The strategy contains 3 action points and will be reached through visual cues/ posters in the school and supporting media channels such as a WhatsApp group chat and an Instagram page @design_movements.

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