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Research Areas

Healthcare Ergonomics

Systematic Evaluation of Patient Transfer Devices to Improve Musculoskeletal Health among Caregivers
Sponsor: NIOSH, Patient Positioning Systems, Northern Illinois University

The objective of this project is to evaluate the muscle activity and joint net torque in hand, shoulder, and low back during patient transfer using four different engineering controls: a conventional cotton draw sheet, friction-reducing slide sheet, friction-reducing slide board, and air-assisted transfer device. Expected outcome is to determine the most effective patient handling device improving the safety and health of caregivers and patients.


Usability Study

Usability Evaluation of the French Door Refrigerator Handle
Sponsor: Samsung

The goal of this study is to evaluate the usability and biomechanical stress of the whole body while using the French door refrigerator handle of three doors and four doors models. The expected outcomes are:

  • the typical behavior of users to interact with different types of handles (recessed, bar, and showcase)
  • optimal height of the recessed handle and
  • optimal type of the recessed handle (bar, recessed handle with different clearances).

NeuroErgonomics

The Brain Activity, Motor Function, and Cognitive Performance of Patients with Parkinson Disease While Using a Computer Touchscreen
Sponsor: Northern Illinois University

The goal of this study is to investigate the effect of motor control disability (healthy subjects vs. patients with Parkinson disease) and desktop conditions (traditional vs. touchscreen) on the brain activity, motor function, and cognitive performance.


Office Ergonomics

Influence of Armrest and Back Rest Support on Gravitational Moment on the Neck while Using a Smartphone

The goal of this study is to evaluate the effect of the armrest and backrest support on the head and neck kinematics, gravitational moment, muscle activities, and perceived discomfort on the neck. The expected outcome is to determine the optimal chair condition promoting the neutral postures of the neck while using the smartphone.

The Effect of the Wearable Posture Sensor on Biomechanical Exposure of the Neck

The objective is to evaluate the effect of the wearable posture correction sensor on the changes of the behavior of office workers to set up the preferred workstation, and associated biomechanical exposures of the neck while sitting and standing.

Contact Us

Wellness and Ergonomics Laboratory (WE-LAB)
College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
590 Garden Road, Room 230
815-753-9980
jhwang3@niu.edu