Work-related discomfort in optometrists

What does work-related discomfort in optometrists have to do with visual ergonomics?

When I tell my optometry colleagues that I am also an ergonomist, many describe to me their own physical discomfort within the optometry consultation room e.g. sore back or neck.

After hearing these stories for close to 8 years, I embarked on a research project to investigate work-related discomfort in the optometry profession. This project grew into a multi-stage study and led to the award of a PhD in 2013. Some optometrists have already used the strategies and recommendations given in my thesis to improve their own physical comfort at work.

I am pleased to have been able to combine my optometry and ergonomics skills to assist the comfort of my optometry colleagues. A copy of my thesis can be found here. The individual peer-reviewed papers which comprise the thesis are listed below.


Long J, Burgess-Limerick R, Stapleton F (2014) Personal consequences of work-related physical discomfort: an exploratory study
Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 97(1): 30-35

Long J, Burgess-Limerick R, Stapleton F (2013) What do clinical optometrists like about their job?
Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 96(5): 460-466

Long J, Yip W, Li A, Ng W, Hao LE, Stapleton F (2012) How do Australian optometrists manage work-related physical discomfort?
Clinical and Experimental Optometry 95(6): 606-614

Long J, Burgess-Limerick R, Stapleton F (2012) Work-related discomfort in the optometry profession – whose responsibility? 
Ergonomics Australia 2012, 10:6

Long J, Burgess-Limerick R, Stapleton F (2012) Work-related musculoskeletal discomfort and injuries in Australian optometrists.
Work 41:1864-1868

Long J (2012) Optometry – a comfortable job for life: A review.
Optometry in Practice 13(1): 33-44

Long J, Burgess-Limerick R, Stapleton F (2011) Toward a more comfortable profession – disseminating ergonomics information to Australian optometrists.
Ergonomics Australia 2011 7:1

Long J, Ko YL, Lau C, Burgess-Limerick R, Stapleton F (2011) Developing strategies for reducing work-related discomfort in optometry students.
Ergonomics Australia HFESA 2011 Conference Edition 2011, 11:6

Long J, Naduvilath T, Hao L, Li A, Ng W, Yip W, Stapleton F (2011) Risk factors for physical discomfort in Australian optometrists.
Optometry and Vision Science 88(2): 317-326

Long J, Burgess-Limerick R, Stapleton F (2010) Acceptance of participatory ergonomics in a healthcare setting.
Proceedings of the 46th Annual Conference of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 31st October – 3rd November 2010, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

And here are some other articles I have written on the topic which were not a part of my thesis:

Long J (2010) Technology challenges for private practice clinicians: Human factors to the rescue
Ergonomics Australia (2010) 24(1): 31-35

Long J (2008) Using your head when buying equipment can prevent a pain in the neck
Ophthalmic Equipment April 2008, page 14-15

Long J (2000) Safe Practices.
Practice, Optometric Business Optometrists Association of Australia, February 2000

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Conferences + Seminars.

Here are the conferences and events that I will be speaking at in 2018:

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“Visual displays and lighting” within the workshop “Critical control rooms for the next generation of operations” at Comms Connect Melbourne, Australia.

Previous seminars and conferences from the past few years:

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“New work practices create new challenges for vision and posture” at the Australian Physiotherapy Association Momentum2017 ConferenceSydney, Australia.