Optimizing human performance in the workplace

The Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab (OBEL) is a nexus for research to optimize human performance in the workplace.

With a strong emphasis on use-inspired, actionable research, OBEL has quickly emerged as a leading ergonomics-focused research and development program, generating actionable ideas, programs and devices to help optimize the performance of those working in high demand professions like paramedicine and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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Our purpose

The Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab (OBEL) aims optimize human function and performance in the workplace by applying principles of biomechanics, motor control and ergonomics. We believe that every individual can achieve peak performance at work with access to the right people, tools and knowledge.

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Training the right people:

OBEL is committed to providing world-class education and mentorship to trainees hoping to emerge as leaders in ergonomics,  injury prevention, and occupational performance.

Explore our people

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Innovating and developing the right tools:

OBEL is committed to research that informs the development and commercialization of tools that can measure, assess, evaluate, classify, predict or improve occupational performance.

Learn more about our tools →

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Growing our knowledge base:

OBEL is committed to growing our knowledge base to support and advance evidence-informed practice in ergonomics, injury prevention and return-to-work.

Read more about our research →

Blog post list

In this post we describe multi-tasks MSD exposure assessment and summarize the findings from our recent review paper aiming to identify the current state-of-the-art in multi-task MSD exposure assessment tools.

OBEL is committed to promoting and ensuring accessibility in research. This means that we make every effort to provide equitable access to our research communications. But we are still learning! We continue to learn more about guidelines (i.e., Web Content Accessibility Guideline: https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/quickref/?versions=2.0), policy (i.e., Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)) and accessibility tools (https://uwaterloo.ca/web-resources/resources/accessibility/tools) to help us continuously improve the accessibility of our science communication.

In this blog, we highlight some of the ways we’re aiming to enhance accessibility in the communication of our research on the web and we include some links that we hope you will find useful. We’d love to hear from you (@BiomechErgoLab) if you have tips to share too!

Health and safety professional routinely use MSD risk assessment tools, but what tools do they use, and when?  In a recent paper published in Applied Ergonomics, we summarize the MSD risk assessment tool use patterns in Canada.


Nathalie Oomen delivered an excellent 3-minute presentation receiving runner-up recognition in the 2019 Applied Health Sciences Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competion.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Celebrating student success

The impressive achievements of Occupational Biomechanics and Ergonomics Lab (OBEL) teammates Daniel Armstrong, Laura Healey, Sarah Remedios, and Christopher Moore were recognized at the 2019 Applied Health Sciences Recognition Reception. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Congratulations Uma Lad MSc!

Ms. Uma Lad has successfully defended her MSc thesis which explored the utility of digital human models to estimate biomechanical exposures during patient handling activities.