Liyun Yang @ KI Aula Medica, 2022

Liyun Yang

Postdoctoral researcher

Postdoctoral researcher at the Unit of Occupational medicine, IMM, Karolinska Institutet.

About me

Postdoctoral researcher within the area of ergonomics at the Unit of Occupational medicine, IMM, Karolinska Institutet.

Research description

Ergonomics and prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) have been my research interest since my PhD time. With the UN Sustainable Development goals on Good health and well-being, and Decent work and economic growth, ergonomics is playing an increasingly important role to achieve a sustainable working life.

My current research work focuses on these main areas:

  1. Development and evaluation of ergonomic risk assessment tools with wearable sensors.

In order to improve the work environment regarding ergonomics factors, it is important to identify risks and assess the severity of those risk factors. Easy-to-use and low-cost tools and methods are needed to facilitate the accurate risk assessment in work places. Some examples of projects that I have worked with:

  • A freely-available iPhone application for measurement upper arm postures and movements – ErgoArmMeter, with over 5000 downloads worldwide (AFA financed project). 
  • A wearable system embedded in smart clothes for measuring and assessing the postures of upper arms and trunk. New functions with the smart workwear system are currently being developed, together with end-users from the industry (Vinnova Production 2030 financed project, co-PI and work package leader).
  • A smartphone application with wireless motion sensors for wrist velocity assessment in hand-intensive work – ErgoHandMeter. The application has been tested in lab and in industrial settings with highly-rated usability. Further algorithm for better accuracy is being tested (Forte financed project).
  1. Intervention and implementation of ergonomics method

In order to prevent WMSDs in the working population, intervention and implementation research is of high importance. Two approaches in ergonomics are suggested: to fit the task to the human and to “fit” the human to the task. Currently, I work with two different intervention/implementation projects applying the two approaches:

  • Implementation of a systematic risk management method (RAMP) in companies. The project aims to study the company implementation process and strategies, and evaluate the effects on individual and organizational level.
  • Work technique training using wearable systems with bio-feedback. We have tested different training programs in lab and industrial settings, with significant short term effects. Further research to improve the long term learning effects is to be continued.
  1. Surgical ergonomics

Surgeons are at high risk for developing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which are associated with surgeon burnout and decreased quality of life. It may also impact surgical performance, patient safety and surgeon career longevity. Some examples:

  • Evaluation of new prismatic loupes on surgeons’ musculoskeletal discomforts, physical workload and surgical performance, in lab and the operating room.
  • Design and evaluation of individual risk assessment report for surgeons, with the aim to increase surgeons’ ergonomic awareness and lay the foundation for further intervention.
  • Pilot studies for other interventions within the operating room are being planned.


Teaching portfolio

I have supervised master students both from KI (Work Environment and Health), and from KTH (Medical Engineering and Technology, Work and Health). I have also supervised visiting PhD student with finance from Erasmus+ program.

I teach lectures and laboratory sessions in courses on ergonomics and prevention of musculoskeletal disorders.


PhD 2019, KTH Royal Institute of Technology & Karolinska Institutet

MSc 2015, KTH Royal Institute of Technology