Karin Lundgren Kownacki

ResearcherFormer name: Karin Lundgren

Research areas and keywords


  • Heat stress, Climate Change, Occupational Health


Increasing global average heat levels is the most obvious and predictable outcome of climate change and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have in its latest 2013 report deemed it ‘virtually certain’, representing a >99% scientific certainty. This research focuses on current and future heat stress and its implication for occupational health and labour productivity. Heat stress has been researched extensively in the last century especially in military settings however, in the contemporary context of climate change, information is lacking on the extent of future heat stress and its consequences, especially in an occupational setting. A field study was conducted in local workplaces in Chennai, India in 2013 as a part of a Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) Cooperation grant. The aim of the project was to contribute to poverty reduction and equitable and sustainable development by fostering healthier working conditions and systems that protect the incomes of the poor when climate change undermines the work productivity due to heat at work. The main partner was Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, India. 

The research further evaluates the current methods and tools for assessing work in hot environments and investigates local sustainable solutions to increasing heat, both technical, managerial and cultural, including clothing practices, diet and hydration.

As work productivity reduces with increasing temperatures, world economic productivity will be condensed, affecting developing countries disproportionately as most of these already are located in warm climates.


Selected publications:

  • Kuklane, K., Lundgren, K., Gao, C. et.al., (2015) Ebola: improving the design of protective clothing for emergency workers allows them to better cope with heat stress and help contain the epidemic. Annals of Occupational Hygiene. 59 (2): 258-261.

  • Havenith, G., Hodder, S., Ouzzahra, Y., Loveday, D., Kuklane, K., Lundgren, K., Fan, J., Au,J. (2015)A database of static clothing thermal insulation and vapor permeability values of non-western ensembles for use in ASHRAE standard 55, ISO 7730 and 9920: results from project 1504-RP. ASHRAE Transactions 121 (1).

  • Lundgren, K., Kuklane, K., Venugopal, V. (2014)Occupational heat stress and associated

    productivity loss estimation using the PHS model (ISO 7933): a case study from workplaces in Chennai, India. Global Health Action. 7: 25283 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.25283

  • Lundgren, K., Kjellstrom, T. (2013) Sustainability Challenges from Climate Change and Air Conditioning Use in Urban Areas. Sustainability. 5: 3116-3128.

  • Lundgren, K., Kuklane, K., Gao, G., Holmér, I. (2013) Effects of Heat Stress on Working Populations when facing Climate Change. Industrial Health. Vol. 5.

Recent research outputs

Ahlberg, E., Akselsson, R., Akselsson, C., Andresen, L. C., Ardö, J., Björk, R. G., Björnsson, L., Boyd, E., Brady, M. V., Brogaard, S., Brönmark, C., Carlsson, P., Carton, W., Chen, D., Coria, J., Döscher, R., Filipsson, H. L., Frank, G., Friberg, J., Gaillard, M-J. & 45 othersGamfeldt, L., Gärdenäs, A., Hallquist, M., Dan Hammarlund, Lars-Anders Hansson, Heuzé, C., Jutta Holst, Christina Isaxon, Johan Jansson, Margareta Johansson, Thomas B Johansson, Kasimir, Å., Kjellström, T., Till Koglin, Torsten Krause, Adam Kristensson, Emma Kritzberg, Jessica Wadin, Aliaksei Laureshyn, Karin Lundgren Kownacki, Jakob Löndahl, Johan Martinsson, Paul Miller, Kimberly Nicholas, Tobias Nielsen, Alexandra Nikoleris, Lennart Olsson, Joakim Pagels, Frans-Jan Parmentier, Andreas Persson, Pleijel, H., Honor C Prentice, Karin Rengefors, Pontus Roldin, Slunge, D., Henrik G. Smith, Moa Sporre, Birgitta Svenningsson, Erik Svensson, Erik Swietlicki, Uddling, J., Wallin, G., Ahlkrona, J., Anderson, K. & Andersson, A., 2019 Mar 15, Dagens nyheter (DN debatt).

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperNewspaper article

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