Human Kinetics & Ergonomics

Rhodes>Human Kinetics and Ergonomics

About Human Kinetics & Ergonomics (HKE)



Follow this link for a video summarising HKE.


 Enhance your sleep, enhance your game!

A wonderful Science for Sport resource based on an HKE publication!




Kinesis = Greek for motion: Understanding the complex eclectic nature of human movements

Ergonomics a= derived from the Greek ergon (work) and nomos (laws): The science of work, studying the interplay between humans and their tasks and environment, now extending across all aspects of human activity


Objects of Study

Humans are the central factor in all activities of work life and society. No social, medical, technical or economical progress may take effect without humans being involved. Human health and performance are critical issues for a productive and successful individual and a progressing society.

Human Kinetics and Ergonomics provides knowledge about the function and the reaction of the human body in order to:

  • optimise human performance
  • avoid injury and keep healthy in professional activities as well as in private life, and
  • improve productivity and quality of output in all domains of work life.

This is of essential importance for South African society to further develop and help individuals to a healthy, wealthy and independent lifestyle.

The focus of the study is the Human factor at different activities and different conditions of life. We study human responses and reactions as well as the design of tasks, treatments, objects and environmental conditions according to the needs of the human. The unique approach of HKE is the holistic consideration of biomechanical, physiological, perceptual, mental and psycho-emotional aspects. This is jointly applied to improve human health, human performance and the productivity of human operations.

HKE is an interdisciplinary subject that integrates knowledge from different disciplines, such as anatomy, biomechanics, neurology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, engineering, computer science, management, economics etc. This variety makes it a fascinating subject but also a challenging one.

Fields of study

Structure of the human body

Functioning of the human body


  • Skeletal framework


  • Physiological responses


  • Musculature


  • Environmental activities


  • Body composition
  • Effects of nutrition and hydration

Sensory and mental functions


Conceptual domain


  • Information perception and processing


  • Understanding of humans in their environment


  • Human reasoning and behaviour
  • Consideration of social aspects


  • Emotional responses and interpersonal cooperation
  • Intervention and design


Application Areas

Knowledge of Human Kinetics and Ergonomics is applied to

  • improve hazardous working conditions,
  • optimise fitness and performance of sports people,
  • enable maximum productivity without harming the human body,
  • appropriate use of equipment and technology, and
  • help people live a healthy lifestyle.