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Department of

Environmental Health

Photo of Kermit Davis, PhD

Kermit Davis, PhD

Education/Credentials
  • BS: University of Toledo
  • MS: The Ohio State University
  • PhD: The Ohio State University

Research/Clinical Interests

His current research is focusing on the investigation of the effect of physical workplace demands as well as mental workload on the responses within the lower back. He has published numerous articles about the impact of workplace stressors on the lower back including studies evaluating warehousing, construction, restaurants, patient handling, alternative modes of handling (e.g. team lifting, one hand lifting, pushing/pulling), injured populations, and ergonomic interventions (e.g. back belts, lifting hoists, adjustable fork lifts). Recent years, Dr. Davis has concentrated on the reducing ergonomic stressors of healthcare workers and patients in healthcare settings (e.g. hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health care).

Board Certifications & Licenses
  • Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) Board of Certified Professional Ergonomist , 2007, Professional Certification
Contact Information
  • 423 Kettering Laboratory
  • 160 Panzeca Way
  • Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0056
  • Office 513558-2809
  • Fax 513-558-4397
  • Email kermit.davis@uc.edu

Peer Reviewed Publications

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Coombs, M., Davis, K. G., Kotowski, S.E., Parkinson, R., Callaghan, J., 2015. Increase in vibration following vertebral endplate fracture: Potential for non-invasive endplate fracture detection Clinical Biomechanics, ,

Davis, K.G., and Kotowski, S.E., 2015. Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Healthcare Providers in Hospital, Long-Term Care Facilities and Home Healthcare: A Comprehensive Review Human Factors, ,

Davis, Kermit G; Kotowski, Susan E 2015. Prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders for Nurses in Hospitals, Long-Term Care Facilities, and Home Health Care: A Comprehensive Review. Human factors, 57 5, 754-92

Davis, Kermit G; Kotowski, Susan E 2015. Role of Bed Design and Head-of-Bed Articulation on Patient Migration. Journal of nursing care quality, ,

Eastlake, Adrienne C; Knipper, Brad S; He, Xinjian J; Alexander, Barbara M; Davis, Kermit G 2015. Lifestyle and safety practices of firefighters and their relation to cardiovascular risk factors. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, ,

Poole Wilson T, Davis, K.G., Kotowski, S.E., Daraiseh, N.M., 2015. Quantification of Patient and Equipment Handling for Nurses Through Direct Observation and Subjective Perceptions Advances in Nursing, ,

Watson J, Kinstler A, Vidonish W, Wagner M, Lin, L., Davis, K.G., Kotowski, S.E., Daraiseh, N.M., 2015. Impact of Noise on Nurses in Pediatric Intensive Care Units. American Journal of Critical Care, ,

Watson, J'ai; Kinstler, Angela; Vidonish, William P; Wagner, Michael; Lin, Li; Davis, Kermit G; Kotowski, Susan E; Daraiseh, Nancy M 2015. Impact of Noise on Nurses in Pediatric Intensive Care Units. American journal of critical care : an official publication, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 24 5, 377-84

Wiggermann, N., Davis, K. G., Kotowski, S.E., and Vangilder, C., 2015. Head of Bed Angle is Not Equal to Patient Torso Angle: The Effect of Patient Migration in Bed on Torso Elevation American Journal of Nursing Research, ,

Wills, A.C., Davis, K. G., and Kotowski, S.E. 2015. Quantification of Ergonomic Exposures for Restaurant Servers International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, ,

Chen, Jie; Daraiseh, Nancy M; Davis, Kermit G; Pan, Wei 2014. Sources of work-related acute fatigue in United States hospital nurses. Nursing & health sciences, 16 1, 19-25

Chen, Jie; Davis, Kermit G; Daraiseh, Nancy M; Pan, Wei; Davis, Linda S 2014. Fatigue and recovery in 12-hour dayshift hospital nurses. Journal of nursing management, 22 5, 593-603

Davis, K.G., Dunning, K., Jewell, G., Lockey, J. 2014. The Impact of Age and Industry on Musculoskeletal Disorders and Associated Cost and Disability Occupational Medicine, 64 8, 608-615.

Davis, Kermit G; Kotowski, Susan E 2014. Postural variability: an effective way to reduce musculoskeletal discomfort in office work. Human factors, 56 7, 1249-61

Davis, Kermit G; Orta Anés, Lida 2014. Potential of adjustable height carts in reducing the risk of low back injury in grocery stockers. Applied ergonomics, 45 2, 285-92

Hammer, M.J., Davis, K.G., Kotowski, S.E., Bhattacharya, A., 2014. An Ergonomic Comparison of Data Entry Work Using a Keyboard vs. Touch Screen Input Device While Standing and Sitting. Journal of Ergonomics, S4 , 007

Kotowski, S.E., Davis, K.G., Kim, H., Lee K-S., 2014. Kotowski, S.E., Davis, K.G., Kim, H., Lee K-S., Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, 49 1, 15-23

Kotowski, Susan E; Davis, Kermit G; Kim, Hyocher; Lee, Kyung-Suk 2014. Identifying risk factors of musculoskeletal disorders on Korean farms. Work (Reading, Mass.), 49 1, 15-23

Ramsey, Todd; Davis, Kermit G; Kotowski, Susan E; Anderson, Vern P; Waters, Thomas 2014. Reduction of spinal loads through adjustable interventions at the origin and destination of palletizing tasks. Human factors, 56 7, 1222-34

Kotowski, Susan E; Davis, Kermit G; Wiggermann, Neal; Williamson, Rachel 2013. Quantification of patient migration in bed: catalyst to improve hospital bed design to reduce shear and friction forces and nurses' injuries. Human factors, 55 1, 36-47

Calvert, Geoffrey M; Lee, Kyungsuk; Roh, Sangchul; Davis, Kermit G; Tak, SangWoo 2012. Promoting and protecting worker health and safety in the Republic of Korea agricultural sector. Journal of agromedicine, 17 3, 326-37

Chen, Jie; Davis, L Sue; Davis, Kermit G; Pan, Wei; Daraiseh, Nancy M 2011. Physiological and behavioural response patterns at work among hospital nurses. Journal of nursing management, 19 1, 57-68

Bhattacharya, A., Watts, N.B., Davis, K.G., Kotowski, S.E., Shukla, R., Dwivedi, A.K., Coleman, B., 2010. Dynamic Bone Quality - A Non-invasive Measure of Bone's Biomechanical Property in Osteoporosis Journal of Clinical Densitometry, 13 2, 228-236

Davis, Kermit G; Kotowski, Susan E; Albers, James; Marras, William S 2010. Investigating reduced bag weight as an effective risk mediator for mason tenders. Applied ergonomics, 41 6, 822-31

Dunning, Kari K; Davis, Kermit G; Cook, Chad; Kotowski, Susan E; Hamrick, Chris; Jewell, Gregory; Lockey, James 2010. Costs by industry and diagnosis among musculoskeletal claims in a state workers compensation system: 1999-2004. American journal of industrial medicine, 53 3, 276-84

Hess, J.A., Kincl, L.D., Davis, K.G., 2010. The Impact of Drywall Handling Tools on the Low Back and Wrist Applied Ergonomics, 41 2, 305-312

Kotowski, Susan E; Davis, Kermit G 2010. Influence of weight loss on musculoskeletal pain: Potential short-term relevance. Work (Reading, Mass.), 36 3, 295-304

Brewer, J M; Davis, K G; Dunning, K K; Succop, P A 2009. Does ergonomic mismatch at school impact pain in school children? Work (Reading, Mass.), 34 4, 455-64

Davis, K.G., Sobeih, T.M., Succop, P., Jetter, W., Kotowski, S.E., Bhattacharya, A., 2009. Impact of obesity on the postural balance of firefighters Occupational Ergonomics, 8 2/3, 115-123

Gallagher, S., Kotowski, S.E., Davis, K.G., Mark, C., Compton, C., Huston, R, Connelly, J., 2009. External L5–S1 joint moments when lifting wire mesh screen used to prevent rock falls in underground mines International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 39 5, 828-834

Kotowski, Susan E; Davis, Kermit G; Waters, Thomas R 2009. Investigation of select ergonomic interventions for farm youth. Part 2: wheelbarrows. Journal of agromedicine, 14 1, 44-57

Kotowski, Susan E; Davis, Kermit G; Waters, Thomas R 2009. Investigation of select ergonomic interventions for farm youth. Part 1: shovels. Journal of agromedicine, 14 1, 33-43

Talbott, Nancy R; Bhattacharya, Amit; Davis, Kermit G; Shukla, Rakesh; Levin, Linda 2009. School backpacks: it's more than just a weight problem. Work (Reading, Mass.), 34 4, 481-94

Dunning, K K; Davis, K G; Kotowski, S E; Elliott, T; Jewell, G; Lockey, J 2008. Can a transitional work grant program in a workers' compensation system reduce cost and facilitate return to work? Journal of occupational and environmental hygiene, 5 9, 547-55

Davis, Kermit G; Kotowski, Susan E 2007. Understanding the ergonomic risk for musculoskeletal disorders in the United States agricultural sector. American journal of industrial medicine, 50 7, 501-11

Hou, Y., Zurada, J.M., Karwowski, W., Marras, W.S., Davis, K.G., 2007. Estimation of the Dynamic Spinal Forces Using a Recurrent Fuzzy Neural Network Model IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, Cybernetics, Part B,, 37 1, 100-109

Hou, Y., Zurada, J.M., Karwowski, W., Marras, W.S., Davis, K.G., 2007. Identification of Input Variables using Fuzzy Average with Fuzzy Cluster Distribution, IEEE Transactions on Fuzzy Systems, 15 4, 673-685

Kotowski, Susan E; Davis, Kermit G; Shockley, Kevin 2007. Impact of order and load knowledge on trunk kinematics during repeated lifting tasks. Human factors, 49 5, 808-19

Karwowski, W., Gaweda, A., Marras, W.S., Davis, K.G., Zurada, J.M., Rodrick, D., 2006. A fuzzy relational rule network modeling of electromyographical activity of trunk muscles in manual lifting based on trunk angels, moments, pelvic tilt and rotation angles. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 36 10, 847-859

Sobeih, Tarek M; Davis, Kermit G; Succop, Paul A; Jetter, William A; Bhattacharya, Amit 2006. Postural balance changes in on-duty firefighters: effect of gear and long work shifts. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 48 1, 68-75

Davis, K.G., and Jorgensen, M.J., 2005. Biomechanical Modeling for Understanding of Low Back Injuries: A Systematic Review Occupational Ergonomics, 5 1, 57-76

Davis, K.G., Marras, W.S., 2005. Load spatial pathway and spine loading: how does lift origin and destination impact low back response? Ergonomics, 48 8, 1031-1046

Davis, Kermit G; Kotowski, Susan E 2005. Preliminary evidence of the short-term effectiveness of alternative treatments for low back pain. Technology and health care : official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine, 13 6, 453-62

Davis, Kermit G; Seol, Hyang 2005. Injury-induced kinematic compensations within the lower back: impact of non-lower back injuries. Ergonomics, 48 2, 135-49

Jorgensen, M.J., Davis, K.G., Kotowski, S.E., Aedla, P., Dunning, K., 2005. Characteristics of Job Rotation in the Midwest U.S. Manufacturing Sector Ergonomics, 48 15, 1721-1733

Marras, William S; Ferguson, Sue A; Burr, Deborah; Davis, Kermit G; Gupta, Purnendu 2005. Functional impairment as a predictor of spine loading. Spine, 30 7, 729-37

Ferguson, Sue A; Marras, William S; Burr, Deborah L; Davis, Kermit G; Gupta, Purnendu 2004. Differences in motor recruitment and resulting kinematics between low back pain patients and asymptomatic participants during lifting exertions. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 19 10, 992-9

Marras, William S; Ferguson, Sue A; Burr, Deborah; Davis, Kermit G; Gupta, Purnendu 2004. Spine loading in patients with low back pain during asymmetric lifting exertions. The Spine Journal, 4 1, 64-75

Davis, K G; Parnianpour, M 2003. Subject-specific compressive tolerance estimates. Technology and health care : official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine, 11 3, 183-93

Davis, K.G., Splittstoesser, R.E., Marras, W.S 2003. Kinematic Contribution and Synchronization of the Trunk, Hip, And Knee During Lifting Below Waist Level Occupational Ergonomics, 3 2, 99-103.

Davis, Kermit G; Marras, William S 2003. Partitioning the contributing role of biomechanical, psychosocial, and individual risk factors in the development of spine loads. The Spine Journal, 3 5, 331-8

Marras, William S; Davis, Kermit G; Jorgensen, Michael 2003. Gender influences on spine loads during complex lifting. The Spine Journal, 3 2, 93-9

Davis, Kermit G; Marras, William S; Heaney, Catherine A; Waters, Thomas R; Gupta, Purnendu 2002. The impact of mental processing and pacing on spine loading: 2002 Volvo Award in biomechanics. Spine, 27 23, 2645-53

Ferguson, S A; Gaudes-MacLaren, L L; Marras, W S; Waters, T R; Davis, K G 2002. Spinal loading when lifting from industrial storage bins. Ergonomics, 45 6, 399-414

Gallagher, Sean; Marras, William S; Davis, Kermit G; Kovacs, Kimberly 2002. Effects of posture on dynamic back loading during a cable lifting task. Ergonomics, 45 5, 380-98

Marras, William S; Davis, Kermit G; Jorgensen, Michael 2002. Spine loading as a function of gender. Spine, 27 22, 2514-20

Marras, W S; Davis, K G 2001. A non-MVC EMG normalization technique for the trunk musculature: Part 1. Method development. Journal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology, 11 1, 1-9

Marras, W S; Davis, K G; Ferguson, S A; Lucas, B R; Gupta, P 2001. Spine loading characteristics of patients with low back pain compared with asymptomatic individuals. Spine, 26 23, 2566-74

Marras, W S; Davis, K G; Maronitis, A B 2001. A non-MVC EMG normalization technique for the trunk musculature: Part 2. Validation and use to predict spinal loads. Journal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology, 11 1, 11-8

Davis, K G; Heaney, C A 2000. The relationship between psychosocial work characteristics and low back pain: underlying methodological issues. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 15 6, 389-406

Davis, K G; Jorgensen, M J; Marras, W S 2000. An investigation of perceived exertion via whole body exertion and direct muscle force indicators during the determination of the maximum acceptable weight of lift. Ergonomics, 43 2, 143-59

Davis, K G; Marras, W S 2000. The effects of motion on trunk biomechanics. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 15 10, 703-17

Davis, K G; Marras, W S 2000. Assessment of the relationship between box weight and trunk kinematics: does a reduction in box weight necessarily correspond to a decrease in spinal loading? Human factors, 42 2, 195-208

Marras, W S; Davis, K G; Heaney, C A; Maronitis, A B; Allread, W G 2000. The influence of psychosocial stress, gender, and personality on mechanical loading of the lumbar spine. Spine, 25 23, 3045-54

Marras, W S; Jorgensen, M J; Davis, K G 2000. Effect of foot movement and an elastic lumbar back support on spinal loading during free-dynamic symmetric and asymmetric lifting exertions. Ergonomics, 43 5, 653-68

Granata, K P; Marras, W S; Davis, K G 1999. Variation in spinal load and trunk dynamics during repeated lifting exertions. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 14 6, 367-75

Jorgensen, M J; Davis, K G; Kirking, B C; Lewis, K E; Marras, W S 1999. Significance of biomechanical and physiological variables during the determination of maximum acceptable weight of lift. Ergonomics, 42 9, 1216-32

Marras, W S; Davis, K G; Kirking, B C; Bertsche, P K 1999. A comprehensive analysis of low-back disorder risk and spinal loading during the transferring and repositioning of patients using different techniques. Ergonomics, 42 7, 904-26

Marras, W S; Davis, K G; Kirking, B C; Granata, K P 1999. Spine loading and trunk kinematics during team lifting. Ergonomics, 42 10, 1258-73

Marras, W S; Granata, K P; Davis, K G; Allread, W G; Jorgensen, M J 1999. Effects of box features on spine loading during warehouse order selecting. Ergonomics, 42 7, 980-96

Marras, W S; Granta, K P; Davis, K G 1999. Variability in spine loading model performance. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 14 8, 505-14

Davis, K G; Marras, W S; Waters, T R 1998. Reduction of spinal loading through the use of handles. Ergonomics, 41 8, 1155-68

Davis, Kermit G; Marras, William S; Waters, Thomas R 1998. Evaluation of spinal loading during lowering and lifting. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 13 3, 141-152

Marras, W S; Davis, K G 1998. Spine loading during asymmetric lifting using one versus two hands. Ergonomics, 41 6, 817-34

Marras, W S; Davis, K G; Granata, K P 1998. Trunk muscle activities during asymmetric twisting motions. Journal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology, 8 4, 247-56

Davis, K G; Kirking, B C; Gaudes, L L; Yang, J; Marras, W S 1997. Influence of lift moment in determining MAWL. Human factors, 39 2, 312-22

Granata, K P; Marras, W S; Davis, K G 1997. Biomechanical assessment of lifting dynamics, muscle activity and spinal loads while using three different styles of lifting belt. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 12 2, 107-115

Lee, C.C., Nelson, J.E., Davis, K.G., and Marras, W.S., 1997. An Ergonomic Comparison of Industrial Spray Paint Guns International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 19 , 425-435

Marras, W.S., Granata, K.P., Davis, K.G., Allread, W.G., and Jorgensen, M.J., 1997. Spine Loading and Probability of Low Back Disorder Risk as a Function of Box Location on a Pallet Human Factors in Manufacturing, 7 4, 323-336