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Rhodes University Human Kinetics and Ergonomics Department

Rhodes University Human Kinetics and Ergonomics Department

Rhodes University Online Application
Rhodes University Online Application

Rhodes University Human Kinetics and Ergonomics Department

Rhodes University Human Kinetics and Ergonomics Department – See Details Below:

About Human Kinetics & Ergonomics (HKE)

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

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

  • optimise human performance
  • avoid injury and keep health 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 the South African society to further develop and help individuals for a healthy, wealthy and independent lifestyle.

Object of StudyFocus of 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 biomechnical, physiological, perceptual, mental and psycho-emotional aspects. This is jointly applied to improve human health, human performance and the productivity of human operation.

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 its tasks and environment, now extending across all aspects of human activity

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.


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Fields of study

Structure of the human body<
  • Skeletal framework
  • Musculature
  • Body composition
Functioning of the human body
  • Physiological responses
  • Environmental activities
  • Effects of nutrition and hydration
Sensory and mental functions
  • Information perception and processing
  • Human reasoning and behavior
  • Emotional responses and interpersonal cooperation
Conceptual domain
  • Understanding of humans in their environment
  • Consideration of social aspects
  • Intervention and design

Application AreasKnowledge 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.

This developed into a BA (Phys Ed) degree in 1968 and student numbers peaked in 1974 to 253 as the department fulfilled its primary objective, which was to supply Physical Education teachers for SA Schools. Further building construction took place in 1979/80 when the front block of four large rooms was added.

“Phys. Ed” students participated in a cross section of sporting activities, where personal standard of performance was assessed, and much emphasis was placed on teaching methods. The focus of the department was the teaching of all aspects of Physical Education, and it soon became known for its good standard of gymnastics and athletics. The vast majority of students went on to do a HDE (Higher Diploma in Education, as it was known then) before going out to teach.

Rhodes University Human Kinetics and Ergonomics Department Contact


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