Windfarm with orange sky

Climate Ergonomics

While world leaders debated strategies for tackling climate change at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021, I pondered “what role can ergonomics play in this issue?”

In this blog I interviewed Ryan Gamble, from K Sharp Ltd in the United Kingdom, who presented a paper on Climate Ergonomics at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia Annual (virtual) conference in November 2021.

man using a smartphone

Our love affair with technology

Are you surprised to learn that people access their mobile devices on average 52 times per day?

These recently-published statistics were presented at the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA) conference in November 2021.

This blog explores our collective love affair with technology by featuring some of the papers presented at the HFESA conference, 


Seeing Past the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact worldwide. Deaths, severe illness and lockdowns have all made headlines.

Another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the provision of routine eyecare and eye surgery.

Consequently, many people have been unable (or unwilling) to attend eye examinations with their optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Why is this a problem?


Lighting in house

Dr Jennifer Long: Vision@WORK+play: A light bulb moment

I thought the light bulbs were OK in my house. Don't be fooled like I was.

When did you last change the light bulbs in your house?


driving car

Vision@WORK+play - Motion Sickness and Self-driving Cars

Motion sickness is poised to become a hot topic with the advent of new technology such as virtual reality, simulators and self-driving cars.

In this blog, I interviewed Dr Joseph Smyth from WMG at the University of Warwick in the UK who is researching ways to ensure that future technology is both safe and pleasurable to use.

Maple leaves

Five tips for a memorable virtual conference experience

How many virtual conferences have you attended since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Are all the events blurring into one big Zoom fog?

In this blog I give 5 tips for a memorable conference experience. My tips are based on what I learnt from travelling from Sydney, Australia to Vancouver, Canada (virtually, of course) to attend the International Ergonomics Association IEA2021 virtual congress on 14-18 June 2021.


blue light smartphone

Blue light and digital eyestrain

Digital displays have become indispensable in modern life. We use our devices for a wide range of activities, including work, social, shopping and recreation.

Some people experience eyestrain and headaches after using their digital devices, and there is speculation that blue light could be a contributing factor. Subsequently, blue light filters have been developed to reduce the amount of blue light we are exposed to when using a digital device and some are marketed as preventing digital eyestrain.

Vision@WORK+Play - Smartphone in bed

Do you use your smartphone or tablet in bed?

Do you use your smartphone or tablet device while in bed?
It’s OK to admit it. Many people do.

If you are a smartphone-in-bed or tablet-in-bed person (or if you know someone who is), then here are some tips that can help improve comfort, safety and sleep quality.

Hand sanitiser

Overcoming Hand Sanitiser Hazards for Children

Twelve months ago you might not have thought much about hand sanitiser. The advent of COVID-19 has changed that, and now dispensers of hand sanitiser are everywhere – in shops, at restaurants, and on public transport. If a venue does not have hand sanitiser, you probably ask “where is it?”

Although hand sanitiser has become a common part of our lives, we must not forget that it is a poisonous substance. Children are particularly vulnerable because of their small stature. They also may not recognise the dangers associated with hand sanitiser.

Man working from home

How to work more effectively from home

Working from home and remote work has been thrust upon us this year by COVID-19. It’s been a steep learning curve for many organisations unaccustomed to this mode of work. For those who have already adopted remote working, there is always something new to learn, particularly when it comes to the use of technology.

If you’re planning to catch up on some reading over the festive season, then “The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work” by Wade Foster (published by, April 2019) might be worth adding to your reading list.


Milky Way Galaxy

Conquering Light Pollution _ Everyone Can Make a Difference

For many years I have discussed the eye’s ability to see in darkness with examples from astronomy. “When you go outside at night and look at the stars…”

Instead of nods of comprehension from my class of 19-year old undergraduate optometry students, 3 years ago I was greeted with a sea of blank faces.

“Don’t you go outside and look at the stars?” I asked.

A few tentative shakes of the head to indicate “no”.


Vision@WORK+play: Simulating vision impairment

Vision@WORK+play - Simulating vision impairment

Mrs Digby shuffled into the room on the arm of the professor. He led her to the chair and after a brief enquiry about her health, asked what she could read on the letter chart.

Her eyes feverishly searched the room. “Where’s the letter chart?”


What is good lighting?

“The lighting is terrible in this room!”

You have probably heard people say this. You may have even said it yourself.


Dr. Jennifer Long: Vision@WORK+play: protective glasses

Look after your eyes at home, too

The COVID-19 pandemic has had many consequences. Social distancing, working from home and virtual meetings have all become embedded in our work-life vocabulary.


Comfortably using a computer is a skill for life

Comfortably using a computer is a skill for life

As I progressed through school, various teachers endeavoured to get us to write much neater and to not hunch over the desk with our nose on the page. I particularly remember my 4th grade teacher, Mrs Mulligan, who exhorted us to hold the pencil lightly, not with a fierce grip.


Vision@WORK+play: Visual ergonomics

Visual ergonomics – a great conversation starter

“What do you do?” is a common conversation starter.

“I’m a visual ergonomist.”

I’ve had city-folk look at me with a puzzled expression “A visual economist? I’ve never heard of that. Does that mean that you work with spreadsheets and how to display data on graphs?”


WORK: glasses

Good vision at work: Don’t assume others see the same way you do

A colleague recounted this story to me last week:
I was onsite talking to a warehouse manager. They had an employee who frequently bumped into objects while driving a forklift.
“We can’t work it out” the manager confessed. “None of the other drivers have trouble with the forklifts.”
“Has he had his eyes tested?” my colleague asked.
“Hmm. We hadn’t thought about that. We thought it was an engineering issue. Great idea. I’ll follow it up. Thanks!”


Jennifer Long Vision@WORK + play glasses

Beyond 20/20 vision in the year of 2020

“Do I have 20/20 vision?”

This is one of the most common questions I’ve been asked by patients at the end of an eye examination.

Although being able to read letters on a vision chart is an important visual ability, it doesn’t tell the whole story for how we see the world around us.



Vision@WORK+Play - Festive Cheer

Festive Cheer

It’s December already and the festive season is upon us. For many of us, this means end of year parties, lots of food, drink and yes – bubbly.

We’ve all been told not to shake a bottle of sparkling wine and then point it at someone. Is it just an urban myth? Or can champagne corks actually injure?