Keir-pic    Location: Ivor Wynne Centre, Room 212
   Phone: 905 525 9140 ext. 23543
   E-mail: pjkeir@mcmaster.ca











My research aims to determine the mechanisms of work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the upper extremity.   By developing a solid link between control and mechanics in the upper extremity, we can define the mechanisms of disorders such that they can be better rehabilitated and, ultimately, prevented.   The disorders examined include those pertaining to 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 MRI, ultrasound, tissue measurement, computer modeling, EMG (surface and fine wire) and motion analysis.




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
BSc University of Waterloo 1989
PhD University of Waterloo 1995
PDF University of California 1997

Grad Students

Grad Students


Degree Name    
 MSc Daanish Mulla    
  Calvin Tse    
PhD Amanda Farias-Zuniga    
  Alison McDonald    





KINESIOL 3N03 - Ergonomics 1: Workplace Injury Risk Assessment

KINESIOL 4GG3 - Clinical Biomechanics



Kin 722 - Advances in Biomechanics & Electromyography


Contact Kinesiology

The Department of Kinesiology is located in the Ivor Wynne Centre (IWC) and IWC East Building, on the northeast side of the university's central campus.
Department of Kinesiology
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Ivor Wynne Centre
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1