Fall 2018 - BPK 180W D100

Introduction to Ergonomics (3)

Class Number: 4888

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2018: Wed, 1:30–2:20 p.m.

    Sep 4 – Dec 3, 2018: Fri, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 9, 2018
    Sun, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Grade 12 Biology or Physics, Grade 12 Math.



Intended for students with a potential interest in ergonomics or human factors. The course surveys the design of work, the workplace environment, information systems, and consumer products. Topics include musculoskeletal disorders, manual materials handling, workplace design, organization of work, design of human/machine interfaces, environmental ergonomics, industrial design, and legal and social issues. Students with credit for BPK 180 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


Topics will include:

Introduction to Ergonomics and Human Factors
Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders
Psychology of work
Environmental Issues
Human Computer Interaction
Product Design
Legal, Ethical and Social Issues


At the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. Explain the importance of the application of ergonomic principles to create safer, healthier, more productive, and more satisfying work environments, consumer products and human-technology interaction experiences. (I) (EX)
  2. Describe key aspects of human variability that influence design decisions and how they can be documented in a user profile to assist the design process. (I) (E) (EX, TA)
  3. Describe how anthropometric data are gathered and presented and apply anthropometric principles to fundamental design problems. (I) (A) (EX, TA)
  4. Identify risk factors for the development of work-related musculoskeletal injuries and discomforts and outline the mechanisms for their development. (I) (EX, TA, A)
  5. Describe and plan the 7-step approach to conducting an ergonomic evaluation and outline techniques which are fundamental at each stage. Apply the 7-step approach in an office setting. (I) (A) (EX, TA, A)
  6. Identify evidence-based solutions at the person, process and environmental levels to address ergonomic issues in the workplace, in the design of consumer products, in human computer interaction and in reducing human error. (I) (EX, TA, A)
  7. Outline the key steps in developing ergonomics programs within the workplace and identify when ergonomics legislation applies. (I) (EX)
  8. Recognize steps in consumer product development and identify stages where ergonomic principles can be applied. (I) (EX)
  9. Describe the effects of lighting, noise, vibration and temperature on health and performance. (I) (EX)
  10. Demonstrate the ability to write effectively in the discipline of ergonomics for various audiences in both a technical report format and public writing piece. (I) (A) (TA, A)
  11. Conduct a literature search for ergonomics related material and demonstrate ability to reference in APA style. (I) (A) (TA, A)
  12. Identify and explain how to navigate ethical issues and professional in the discipline of ergonomics. (I) (EX,A)
(I) Introduces (E) Emphasizes (R) Reinforces (A) Applies

Assessment Method:
EX (examinations, including midterm, final)
TA (tutorial activities – including marked “labs” and non-marked activities with feedback)
A (marked assignments with several stages of feedback and revision)


  • 2 Tutorial/Labs 8%
  • Assignment 1 - Ergonomics References 8%
  • Assignment 2 - Office Ergonomics Evaluation 30%
  • Assignment 3 - Magazine Article on Ergonomics Topic 18%
  • Midterm 12%
  • Final 24%


This introductory course is intended for all students with a potential interest in ergonomics, occupational therapy or physical therapy and is a requirement and pre-requisite for those wishing to take higher level ergonomics related courses and/or complete the Occupational Ergonomics Certificate.   

This course will enable the student to understand how the application of ergonomic principles can create safer, healthier, more productive, and more satisfying environments.   

BPK 180W surveys major ergonomic and human factors issues including: the design of work, the workplace environment, information systems, and consumer products.   Note that this course is a pre-requisite to other courses in the ergonomics certificate and is designated as a W course.



On-line readings will be provided

Department Undergraduate Notes:

It is the responsibility of the student to keep their BPK course outlines if they plan on furthering their education.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html