Peter Keir
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On Research Leave. Professor, Associate Chair Graduate Program
Ivor Wynne Centre, Room 219B
905 525 9140 ext. 23543
On Leave
My basic interest is determining in how the body works combining mechanics and control, and consequently, how it gets injured. My research aims to determine the mechanisms of work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremity from the fingers to the shoulder (and occasionally some other parts). These disorders tend to occur over a long period of time through complex pathways. By developing a solid link between control and mechanics, we can define the mechanisms of disorders such that they can be better rehabilitated and, ultimately, prevented. We examine disorders of muscle tissue (e.g. myalgia), connective tissue (e.g. tendinitis, epicondylitis), and peripheral nerve (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome). To reach these research objectives, we use both basic (laboratory) and applied (laboratory and field) studies. My research tools include ultrasound, MRI, tissue measurement, computer modeling, electromyography (surface and fine wire EMG), various dynamometers, data trackers, and motion analysis.
Biomechanics; Electromyography; Simulation; Modeling, Ultrasound; Tissue dynamics; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Wrist; Shoulder, Fingers


Course Code
  Course Name
KINESIOL 3N03   Ergonomics 1: Workplace Injury Risk Assessment
KINESIOL 4GG3   Clinical Biomechanics


KIN 722 Advances in Biomechanics & Electromyography
Course Code
  Course Name

Keir, P.J. & Brown, M.M. Force, frequency and gripping alter upper extremity muscle activity during a cyclic push task. Ergonomics (Accepted February 17, 2012; doi:10.1080/00140139.2012.668947)


Hodder, J.N. & Keir, P.J. Learning Effects of Simultaneous Grip and Shoulder Exertion on Muscle Activity. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 22(2): 186-190. (doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2011.11.011)


Holmes, M.W. & Keir, P.J. Posture and hand load alter muscular response to sudden elbow perturbations. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 22(2): 191-198. (doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2011.11.006)


Holmes, M.W., Howarth, S.J., Callaghan, J.P.& Keir, P.J.. Mechanical properties of the transverse carpal ligament during biaxial testing. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 30: 757–763. (doi: 10.1002/jor.21583)


Kociolek, A.M. & Keir, P.J. (2011) Modelling Tendon Excursions and Moment Arms of the Finger Flexors: Anatomic Fidelity versus Function. Journal of Biomechanics 44(10): 1967-1973 (doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.05.002)


Holmes, M.W., Howarth, S.J., Callaghan, J.P. & Keir, P.J.(2011) Carpal Tunnel and Transverse Carpal Ligament Stiffness with Changes in Wrist Posture and Indenter Size. Journal of Orthopaedic Research 29(11): 1682-1687 (doi: 10.1002/jor.21442).


Lopes, M.M., Lawson, W., Scott, T. & Keir, P.J. (2011) Tendon and nerve excursion in the carpal tunnel in healthy and CTD wrists. Clinical Biomechanics 26(9): 930-936 (doi:10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2011.03.014)


Keir, P.J., Sanei, K. & Holmes, M.W. (2011) Effect of task rotation on upper extremity and back muscle activity. Applied Ergonomics 42(6): 814-819(doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2011.01.006).


Kociolek, A.M. & Keir, P.J. (2010) Reliability of Distal Upper Extremity Posture Matching Using Slow Motion and Frame-by-Frame Video Methods. Human Factors 52(3): 441-455.


Hodder, J.N., Holmes, M.W. & Keir, P.J. (2010) Continuous assessment of work activities and posture in long term care nurses. Ergonomics 53(9): 1097–1107.


Holmes, M.W., Hodder, J.N. & Keir, P.J. (2010) Continuous assessment of low back loads in long term care nurses. Ergonomics 53(9): 1108–1116.


Di Domizio, J. & Keir, P.J. (2010) The effects of posture and force coupling on upper extremity muscle activity. Ergonomics 53(3): 336-343.


Degree University Year
PostDoc Fellow University of California 1997
PhD University of Waterloo 1995
BSc University of Waterloo 1989
Degree Name
Andrew WONG
Daanish MULLA
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Kinesiology