Studying the interaction of humans and their environment

The Orthopaedic Ergonomics Laboratory's goal is to improve the physical interaction between workers, their work and the work environment through the study of the musculoskeletal system's response to work activities. In so doing, our focus continues to study the body's biomechanical response to a variety of occupational tasks, potential workplace interventions and the development of models predictive of back injury development and recovery. This is achieved through the measurement of body movements, joint loads and muscle recruitment patterns as different types of activities are performed. While much of the work relates to furthering our understanding of how to better optimize the interface between people and their work environment, the same measurement capabilities and techniques are applicable to addressing sports biomechanics research questions.

The laboratory consists of approximately 600 square feet of research space and the supporting computer facilities. The laboratory is equipped with six degree of freedom motion measurement systems, force platforms for obtaining ground reaction forces, strain gauges for measuring the forces exerted as activities are performed and surface electromyographic (EMG) recording equipment.