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About me

Björn Äng - Associate Professor at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society

Björn gained his degree in physiotherapy from Karolinska Institutet in 2001, and he defended his PhD in 2007, titled "NECK PAIN IN THE AIR FORCE - On Risk Factors, Neck Motor Function and an Exercise Intervention".

Between 2001 and 2003 he was a university lecturer at Karolinska Institutet, and he worked clinically with the focus on neck and shoulder pain problems. From 2004 to 2007 he fulfilled his PhD-studies, worked as a lecturer and in 2009 he becomes a senior lecturer at KI. In 2012 he becomes an associate professor. 

At date, Björn supervises doctoral candidates and post-docs, he leads several research projects including commissioned research, and was the head of his research group until 2016 when he moved to Falun with his family for a position as Head of the Centre for Clinical Research - Dalarna (still affiliated to KI). Björns teaching expertise concerns various aspects of exercise science, movement control and biomechanics.


Higher education qualification(s) (1p = 1.5 ECTS-credits/weeks)                

  • 2007, Med Dr, Physiotherapy (Karolinska Institutet). 
  • 2000 - 2002 Medical teacher, Karolinska Institutet, 25p
  • 2000 - 2001 Master of Science, Medical Science, 160p total
  • 1997 - 2000 Physiotherapy Diploma, Bachelor’s degree 120p
  • 1992 - 1994 Sports Management training, 80p

Educations/courses (1p = 1.5 ECTS-credits/weeks)

  • 2011 Project Management for Research Manager/Leaders
  • 2011 Research supervision Education (part 2)
  • 2008 Research for Supervisors Education (part 1)
  • 2001 - 2002 Advanced course in physiotherapy 20p
  • 1997 Pedagogy, Linköping University 15p
  • 1996 Sociology, University of Linköping 20p

Research description

My existing and ongoing research reflects recurrent and chronic pain conditions in various occupations / groups using different study methodologies. Published papers include epidemiological results, validity processes, objective measures of movement and motor control, and RCTs on interventional effects focusing on physical activity and exercise. Several of these papers concerns populations exposed to extreme physical environments, e.g. air force pilots, marine soldiers and elite skydivers. I have learned that research built on accumulated or translational results generated in interprofessional teams is crucial, and one of my RCTs that were built on such an approach was awarded the Joseph L. Haley Writing Award for the best paper published in the area of Aviation Medicine (U.S. Army Aviation Medical Association, Phoenix, 2010). The future in my research will mainly concern bio-psycho-social processes involved in musculoskeletal pain and interventional advances devoted to improved health and physical performance. This hopefully includes issues related to individual and societal opportunities and actions to prevent illness and maintain good health through physical activity and movement.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

  • 2010 For best paper published in 2009 in the area of Aviation Medicine, The Aerospace Medical Association (Phoenix 2010).
  • 2008 – 2012 Elected member to the Board of Education, Deputy Chairman of the International Committee.
  • 2000 Best educational presentation, Medicine National Conference


A longitudinal observational study of back pain incidence, risk factors and occupational physical activity in Swedish marine trainees
Monnier A, Larsson H, Nero H, Djupsjöbacka M, Äng Bo
BMJ open 2019;9(5):e025150-

Elaborating on the assessment of the risk of bias in prognostic studies in pain rehabilitation using QUIPS-aspects of interrater agreement
Grooten Wja, Tseli E, Äng Bo, Boersma K, Stålnacke Bm, Gerdle B, et al
Diagnostic and prognostic research 2019;3():5-

Non-participation in initial and repeated health risk appraisals - a drop-out analysis based on a health project
Grooten Wja, Hansson A, Forsman M, Kjellberg K, Toomingas A, Müller M, et al
BMC health services research 2019;19(1):130-

Prevalence and potential risk factors of flight-related neck, shoulder and low back pain among helicopter pilots and crewmembers: a questionnaire-based study
Posch M, Schranz A, Lener M, Senn W, Äng Bo, Burtscher M, et al
BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2019;20(1):44-

Prognostic Factors for Physical Functioning After Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation in Patients With Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Tseli E, Boersma K, Stålnacke Bm, Enthoven P, Gerdle B, Äng Bo, et al
The Clinical journal of pain 2019;35(2):148-173

Who benefits from multimodal rehabilitation - an exploration of pain, psychological distress, and life impacts in over 35,000 chronic pain patients identified in the Swedish Quality Registry for Pain Rehabilitation
Gerdle B, Åkerblom S, Brodda Jansen G, Enthoven P, Ernberg M, Dong Hj, et al
Journal of pain research 2019;12():891-908

How does exercise dose affect patients with long-term osteoarthritis of the knee? A study protocol of a randomised controlled trial in Sweden and Norway: the SWENOR Study
Torstensen Ta, Grooten Wja, Østerås H, Heijne A, Harms-ringdahl K, Äng Bo
BMJ open 2018;8(5):e018471-

Inter-rater and test-retest reliability of movement control tests for the neck, shoulder, thoracic, lumbar, and hip regions in military personnel
Tegern M, Aasa U, Äng Bo, Harms-ringdahl K, Larsson H
PloS one 2018;13(9):e0204552-

The role of pain in chronic pain patients' perception of health-related quality of life: a cross-sectional SQRP study of 40,000 patients
Molander P, Dong Hj, Äng B, Enthoven P, Gerdle B
Scandinavian journal of pain 2018;18(3):417-429

Construction of a web-based questionnaire for longitudinal investigation of work exposure, musculoskeletal pain and performance impairments in high-performance marine craft populations
Lo Martire R, De Alwis Mp, Äng Bo, Garme K
BMJ open 2017;7(7):e016006-

Decelerations of Parachute Opening Shock in Skydivers
Gladh K, Lo Martire R, Ang Bo, Lindholm P, Nilsson J, Westman A

Does a dynamic chair increase office workers' movements? - Results from a combined laboratory and field study
Grooten Wja, Äng Bo, Hagströmer M, Conradsson D, Nero H, Franzén E
Applied ergonomics 2017;60():1-11

Movement control tests for the lumbopelvic complex. Are these tests reliable and valid?
Granström H, Äng Bo, Rasmussen-barr E
Physiotherapy theory and practice 2017;33(5):386-397

Neck Muscle EMG-Force Relationship and Its Reliability During Isometric Contractions
Lo Martire R, Gladh K, Westman A, Äng Bo
Sports medicine - open 2017;3(1):16-

Predictors of multidisciplinary rehabilitation outcomes in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis
Tseli E, Grooten Wja, Stålnacke Bm, Boersma K, Enthoven P, Gerdle B, et al
Systematic reviews 2017;6(1):199-

Development and validation of a web-based questionnaire for surveying the health and working conditions of high-performance marine craft populations
De Alwis Mp, Lo Martire R, Äng Bo, Garme K
BMJ open 2016;6(6):e011681-

Free Fall Acrobatics to Reduce Neck Loads During Parachute Opening Shock: Evaluation of an Intervention (ACROPOSE)
Westman A, Äng Bo
BMJ open sport & exercise medicine 2016;2(1):e000108-

Health risk appraisals in Swedish occupational health services
Grooten Wja, Muller M, Forsman M, Kjellberg K, Toomingas A, Ang Bo, et al

Neck muscle activity in skydivers during parachute opening shock
Lo Martire R, Gladh K, Westman A, Lindholm P, Nilsson J, Äng Bo
Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 2016;26(3):307-16

Neck Muscle Strain in Air Force Pilots Wearing Night Vision Goggles
Pousette Mw, Lo Martire R, Linder J, Kristoffersson M, Äng Bo
Aerospace medicine and human performance 2016;87(11):928-932

Risk factors for back pain in marines; a prospective cohort study
Monnier A, Djupsjöbacka M, Larsson H, Norman K, Äng Bo
BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2016;17():319-

Musculoskeletal pain and limitations in work ability in Swedish marines: a cross-sectional survey of prevalence and associated factors
Monnier A, Larsson H, Djupsjöbacka M, Brodin LÅ, Äng Bo
BMJ open 2015;5(10):e007943-

The abdominal drawing-in manoeuvre for detecting activity in the deep abdominal muscles: is this clinical tool reliable and valid?
Kaping K, Äng Bo, Rasmussen-barr E
BMJ open 2015;5(12):e008711-

Validation of a free fall acrobatics intervention protocol to reduce neck loads during parachute opening shock
Westman A, Äng Bo
BMJ open sport & exercise medicine 2015;1(1):-

Decelerations and muscle responses during parachute opening shock
Gladh K, Ang Bo, Lindholm P, Nilsson J, Westman A
Aviation, space, and environmental medicine 2013;84(11):1205-10

Is active sitting as active as we think?
Grooten Wj, Conradsson D, Äng Bo, Franzén E
Ergonomics 2013;56(8):1304-14

Musculoskeletal pain and related risks in skydivers: a population-based survey
Nilsson J, Fridén C, Burén V, Westman A, Lindholm P, Ang Bo
Aviation, space, and environmental medicine 2013;84(10):1034-40

Neck muscle activity in fighter pilots wearing night-vision equipment during simulated flight
Ang Bo, Kristoffersson M
Aviation, space, and environmental medicine 2013;84(2):125-33

Effects of eccentric training on hand strength in subjects with lateral epicondylalgia: a randomized-controlled trial
Soderberg J, Grooten Wj, Ang Bo

Factors predicting clinical outcome 12 and 36 months after an exercise intervention for recurrent low-back pain
Rasmussen-barr E, Campello M, Arvidsson I, Nilsson-wikmar L, Ang Bo

Inter- and intra-observer reliability of clinical movement-control tests for marines
Monnier A, Heuer J, Norman K, Äng Bo
BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2012;13():263-

Development and Validation of a Web-Based Questionnaire for Surveying Skydivers
Nilsson J, Friden C, Buren V, Ang Bo

Ankle-joint mobility and standing squat posture in elite junior cross-country skiers. A pilot study
Conradsson D, Friden C, Nilsson-wikmar L, Ang Bo

Reliability of measurements of wrist extension force obtained with a Nicholas Manual Muscle Tester (NMMT)
Grooten Wj, Ang Bo
Physiotherapy theory and practice 2010;26(4):281-7

Graded Exercise for Recurrent Low-Back Pain A Randomized, Controlled Trial With 6-, 12-, and 36-Month Follow-ups
Rasmussen-barr E, Ang B, Arvidsson I, Nilsson-wikmar L
SPINE 2009;34(3):221-8

Neck/Shoulder Exercise for Neck Pain in Air Force Helicopter Pilots A Randomized Controlled Trial
Ang Bo, Monnier A, Harms-ringdahl K
SPINE 2009;34(16):E544-51

Predictive factors for 12-month outcome after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
Heijne A, Ang Bo, Werner S

Impaired neck motor function and pronounced pain-related fear in helicopter pilots with neck pain - A clinical approach
Ang Bo

Neck pain and related disability in helicopter pilots: A survey of prevalence and risk factors
Ang B, Harms-ringdahl K

Intra-rater reliability of electromyographic recordings and subjective evaluation of neck muscle fatigue among helicopter pilots
Thuresson M, Ang B, Linder J, Harms-ringdahl K

Mechanical load and EMG activity in the neck induced by different head-worn equipment and neck postures
Thuresson M, Ang B, Linder J, Harms-ringdahl K

Neck strength and myoelectric fatigue in fighter and helicopter pilots with a history of neck pain
Ang B, Linder J, Harms-ringdahl K

Neck muscle activity in helicopter pilots: Effect of position and helmet-mounted equipment
Thuresson M, Ang B, Linder J, Harms-ringdahl K

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