Carisa Harris-Adamson, PhD, PT

Carisa Harris-Adamson

Carisa Harris-Adamson, PhD, PT

Position: Assistant Professor
Samuel Merritt University
Department of Physical Therapy

Research Biography

Dr. Harris-Adamson’s primary research interests are in the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal injuries and resulting work disability. Her research thus far has had two approaches. The first is an epidemiological approach that assesses the relationship between various physical exposures (force, repetition, awkward posture) and the occurence of carpal tunnel syndrome and related disability. The second is by designing and assessing various tool designs to reduce phsyical exposures that cause work related MSDs. She has looked at an alternative tool for cake decorators that reduced muscle activity and overall grip force required for decorating cakes. Additionally, she has researched pallet jack handles and the impact of hand-handle interface on comfort, energy expenditure, muscle activity and joint compressive forces.  Most recently she is assessing a mattress lift tool for hotel room cleaners.  

"Understanding the causal factors associated with the occurrence of work-related injuries can facilitate successful prevention strategies and policies to help reduce the frequency and severity of work related UEMSDs.  My research bridges the fields of occupational health, biostatistics and epidemiology. Over the past three years, I have developed knowledge and analytical skills in epidemiological research through my post-doctoral training. I have gained an appreciation for how certain biases, such as the healthy worker survivor effect, can influence findings. I recently received a K01 career mentorship grant entitled “Survivor Bias in a pooled longitudinal study of CTS and related disability”.  My intent is to advance my knowledge and training to account for biases in epidemiological research as I continue to contribute to the field of occupational injury prevention and ergonomics.
Other research projects that I have been involved with include the quantification of exposure in jobs that have a high incidence of work related UEMSDs.  Examples include the assessment of a cake decorating tool, the design and testing of an alternative pallet jack handle and most recently, the assessment of a mattress lift tool for hotel room cleaners.  I would like to continue to participate in projects that apply evidence to tangible workplace solutions that aim at reducing exposure in high risk industries, particularly among vulnerable populations."


Harris, C. and Lin, J. “Ergonomic evaluation of standard and alternative pallet jack handles.” Ergonomics in Design. In Press.

Harris, C. 2012, “Ergonomic evaluation of standard and alternative pallet jack handles”, 4th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, San Francisco, CA.

Harris, C. 2012, “Workplace factors in wrist tendinosis among blue collar workers: The San Francisco Study. Comparison of various measures of force and repetition.”, International Ergonomics Association Conference, Recife, Brazil.

Harris, C. Eisen, E., Goldberg, R., Krause, N., Rempel, D. “1st place, PREMUS best paper competition: workplace and individual factors of Wrist Tendinosis among blue-collar workers- the San Francisco Study.” Scan J Work Environ Health. 2011; 37 (2): 85-98.

Harris, C. 2011, “Ergonomic Evaluation of an alternative cake decorating tool”, Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, Las Vegas, NV. (Received Best Student Paper Award.)


Request more information

Vestibulum id ligula porta felis euismod semper. Nullam id dolor id nibh ultricies vehicula ut id elit. Sed posuere consectetur est at lobortis. Donec sed odio dui.