Photo of Jack Dennerlein,  PhD

Jack Dennerlein, PhD

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health
Phone: (617) 373-5428


jax@hsph.harvard.edu

Jack Dennerlein, PhD

Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Professor, Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

My current research aims to prevent work-related illness and injury, mainly musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) through understanding the injury mechanisms based on hypothesis-driven studies examining biomechanics, neuromuscular, and exposure-response models. My exposure assessment research is based upon biomechanical and injury mechanism principals and utilizes direct measurement techniques to determine mechanical and physiological exposures during work. We have observed exposure-response relationships between daily computer usage and daily MSD symptoms as well as between repetitive wrist and finger activities and physiological responses as measured by muscle fatigue. Based upon pioneering in vivo human tendon force measurements, we have initiated new biomechanics research to determine the functional role of joints, muscles, and tendons of the upper extremity that are susceptible to injury during repetitive tasks. Our approach integrates energy transfer concepts to identify potential injury pathways for the musculoskeletal system. We study the impact of input devices and workstation designs on the biomechanics of the upper extremity. Through this lens we have evaluated the effectiveness of many interventions, such as changes in key switch design, mouse design and work-station design and setup. Our findings have influenced the design of devices available on the market today. Recently we have initiated an intervention study testing the hypothesis that combining ergonomic interventions and work-place health promotion programs will improve musculoskeletal health of health care workers. In addition, we have observed relationships with traffic situations and bicycle injures as well as developed observational tools to quantify compliance to best practices of ladder use in construction. I have participated in systematic reviews of validating exposure assessment methods for physical injury risk factors and work place interventions to prevent work-related upper extremity MSDs. Overall our research is breaking new ground on examining the various aspects of exposure-outcome relationships and interventions in order to prevent work-related MSDs and injury.

Publications

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  • Sorensen G, McLellan D, Dennerlein JT, Pronk NP, Allen JD, Boden LI, Okechukwu CA, Hashimoto D, Stoddard A, Wagner GR. Integration of health protection and health promotion: rationale, indicators, and metrics. J Occup Environ Med 2013; 55:S12-8. PubMed
  • Umukoro PE, Arias OE, Stoffel SD, Hopcia K, Sorensen G, Dennerlein JT. Physical activity at work contributes little to patient care workers' weekly totals. J Occup Environ Med 2013; 55:S63-8. PubMed
  • Caspi CE, Dennerlein JT, Kenwood C, Stoddard AM, Hopcia K, Hashimoto D, Sorensen G. Results of a pilot intervention to improve health and safety for health care workers. J Occup Environ Med 2013; 55:1449-55. PubMed
  • Kim SS, Okechukwu CA, Buxton OM, Dennerlein JT, Boden LI, Hashimoto DM, Sorensen G. Association between work-family conflict and musculoskeletal pain among hospital patient care workers. Am J Ind Med 2012. PubMed
  • Chang CH, Menéndez CC, Robertson MM, Amick BC, Johnson PW, Del Pino RJ, Dennerlein JT. Daily self-reports resulted in information bias when assessing exposure duration to computer use. Am J Ind Med 2010; 53:1142-9. PubMed
  • Mehrdad R, Dennerlein JT, Haghighat M, Aminian O. Association between psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal symptoms among Iranian nurses. Am J Ind Med 2010; 53:1032-9. PubMed
  • Kennedy CA, Amick BC, Dennerlein JT, Brewer S, Catli S, Williams R, Serra C, Gerr F, Irvin E, Mahood Q, Franzblau A, Van Eerd D, Evanoff B, Rempel D. Systematic review of the role of occupational health and safety interventions in the prevention of upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms, signs, disorders, injuries, claims and lost time. 2010; 20:127-62. PubMed
  • Qin J, Lee D, Li Z, Chen H, Dennerlein JT. Estimating in vivo passive forces of the index finger muscles: Exploring model parameters. J Biomech 2010; 43:1358-63. PubMed
  • Gold JE, Cherniack M, Hanlon A, Dennerlein JT, Dropkin J. Skin temperature in the dorsal hand of office workers and severity of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2009; 82:1281-92. PubMed
  • Gold JE, Cherniack M, Hanlon A, Dennerlein JT, Dropkin J. Skin temperature in the dorsal hand of office workers and severity of upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2009; 82:1281-92. PubMed
  • Won EJ, Johnson PW, Punnett L, Dennerlein JT. Upper extremity biomechanics in computer tasks differ by gender. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2009; 19:428-36. PubMed
  • Dennerlein JT, Ronk CJ, Perry MJ. Portable ladder assessment tool development and validation-quantifying best practices in the field. 2010; 47:636-639. PubMed
  • Menéndez CC, Amick BC, Chang CH, Dennerlein JT, Harrist RB, Jenkins M, Robertson M, Katz JN. Computer use patterns associated with upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms. 2008; 18:166-74. PubMed
  • Barrero LH, Hsu YH, Terwedow H, Perry MJ, Dennerlein JT, Brain JD, Xu X. Prevalence and physical determinants of low back pain in a rural Chinese population. Spine 2006; 31:2728-34. PubMed
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