Sara Dockrell
Assistant Professor, Physiotherapy

Biography

I am an Assistant Professor in the Discipline of Physiotherapy,School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin and a Chartered Physiotherapist. I developed the Back Care and Ergonomics course for students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am actively involved in teaching and research in the area, and have supervised research projects of undergraduate and postgraduate students. I am currently a member of the International Ergonomics Association technical group in Ergonomics for Children in Educational Environments (ECEE) and also on the technical group for Patient Handling Ergonomics. I am a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists clinical interest groups Occupational Health and Ergonomics, and Paediatrics.I have previous experience of producing best practice guidance in healthcare and for the general public. An active editorial board member, peer-reviewer and member of school and faculty research ethics committees, I have published widely in clinical, education, and ergonomics peer-reviewed journals and written reports that have influenced policy.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Jill Burns, Cuisle Forde, Sara Dockrell, Energy expenditure of standing compared to sitting while conducting office tasks, Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, July 17, 2017 Journal Article, 2017

Dockrell, S. Simms, C. Blake, C., Guidelines on schoolbag use: Messaging to inform the stakeholders, WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 54, 2016, p489 - 492 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Dockrell, S. Blake, C. Simms, C., Guidelines for schoolbag carriage: An appraisal of safe load limits for schoolbag weight and duration of carriage, WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 53, 2016, p679 - 688 Journal Article, 2016 DOI

Sara Dockrell, Guidelines for Schoolbag Carriage: An Appraisal of Safe Load Limits for Schoolbag Weight and Duration of Carriage, Learn at WORK Webinar Series, Boston, 21 June, 2016, IOS Press Invited Talk, 2016

Burns J. Breithecker D. Mahli M. Gormley J. Dockrell S. , Sedentary Behaviour in the classroom: A comparison between German and Irish secondary schools, Irish Ergonomics Society Annual Conference, Trinity College Dublin, 18th June 2015, edited by Leva C. and O'Sullivan L. , 2015, pp55 - 62 Conference Paper, 2015

Dockrell, S. Bennett, K. Culleton-Quinn, E., Computer use and musculoskeletal symptoms among undergraduate university students, Computers & Education, 85, 2015, p102 - 109 Journal Article, 2015

Sara Dockrell, Ciaran Simms, Catherine Blake, Schoolbag carriage and schoolbag-related musculoskeletal discomfort among primary school children, Applied Ergonomics, 51, 2015, p281 - 290 Journal Article, 2015

Walsh C. O'Sullivan M. Purcell S. O'Brien C. Forde C. Gormley J. Dockrell S., A pilot investigation among secondary school children into the energy cost of activities traditionally considered sedentary, ISCP Annual Conference, Dublin, 6th November 2015, 2015 Poster, 2015

Dockrell, S. Simms, C. Blake, C., Ergonomics Aspects of Schoolbags, Irish Ergonomics Society Annual Conference 2014, NUI Galway, 16th May 2014, edited by Leonard O'Sullivan , 2014 Conference Paper, 2014

Dockrell S, Simms C, Blake C, Schoolbag weight limit: can it be defined?, The Journal of School Health, 83, (5), 2013, p368-77 Journal Article, 2013 DOI

Dockrell, S. O'Grady E. Bennett, K. Mullarkey, C. McConnell, R. Ruddy, R. Twomey, S. Flannery, C.,, An investigation of the reliability of Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) as a method of assessment of children's computing posture, Applied Ergonomics, 43, (3), 2012, p632 - 636 Journal Article, 2012

Dockrell, S. Johnson, M. Ganly, J. Bennett, K., Manual handling incident claims in the healthcare sector: Factors and outcomes, WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, 40, (2), 2011, p165 - 172 Journal Article, 2011

Dockrell, S., Earle, D., Galvin, R. , Computer-related posture and discomfort in primary school children: The effects of a school-based ergonomic intervention, Computers and Education, 55, (1), 2010, 276-284 Journal Article, 2010 DOI

Kelly,G. Dockrell, S. Galvin,R. , Computer use in school: Its effect on posture and discomfort in schoolchildren, Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 32, (3), 2009, p321 - 328 Journal Article, 2009

Dockrell, S. Fallon, E. Kelly, M. Galvin, R., Sources and nature of secondary school teachers' education in computer-related ergonomics, Computers & Education, 53, (2), 2009, p504 - 510 Journal Article, 2009

Dockrell, S. Fallon, E. Kelly, M. Galvin, R. , Computer Use and Ergonomics in Post Primary Schools, Irish Ergonomics Review, Irish Ergonomics Society Conference 2008, Dublin, 8th May 2008, edited by O'Sullivan, L. , 2008, pp2 - 4 Conference Paper, 2008

Dockrell, S. Johnson, M. Ganly, J. Bennett, K., Manual Handling Incidents in the Health Care Sector: Causes and Costs, Irish Ergonomics Review, Irish Ergonomics Society Conference 2008, Dublin, 8th May, edited by O'Sullivan, L. , 2008, pp69 - 71 Conference Paper, 2008

Breen, R. Pyper, S. Rusk, Y. Dockrell, S., An investigation of children's posture and discomfort during computer use, Ergonomics, 50, (10), 2007, p1582 - 1592 Journal Article, 2007

Dockrell, S. Fallon, E. Kelly, M. Masterson, B. Shields, N. , School children's use of computers and teachers' education in computer ergonomics, Ergonomics, 50, (10), 2007, p1657 - 1667 Journal Article, 2007

Hignett, S. Fray, M. Rossi, M. Tamminen-Peter, L. Lomi, C. Dockrell, S. Cotrim, T. Cantineau, J. Johnsson, C., Implementation of the Manual Handling Directive in the healthcare industry in the European Union for patient handling tasks, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 37, (5), 2007, p415 - 423 Journal Article, 2007

Dockrell, S. and Kelly, G, Computer - related posture and musculoskeletal discomfort in school children, International Ergonomics Association Congress - Meeting Diversity in Ergonomics, Maastricht, Holland, 9th - 14th July 2006, edited by Pikaar, R. Koningsveld, E. and Settels, P. , Elsevier Ltd., 2006 Conference Paper, 2006

Dockrell, S. Kane, C. and O'Keeffe, E, Schoolbag weight and the effects of schoolbag carriage on secondary school students, International Ergonomics Association Congress - Meeting Diversity in Ergonomics, Maastricht, Holland, 9th - 14th July 2006, edited by Pikaar, R. Koningsveld E. and Settels, P. , Elsevier Ltd., 2006 Conference Paper, 2006

Gallagher, P. Flynn, C. and Dockrell, S., Availability and use of patient handling sliding devices, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 13, (6), 2006, p264 - 271 Journal Article, 2006

Dockrell, S., Patient handling ergonomics in the Republic of Ireland, Healthcare systems, ergonomics and patient safety, Florence, edited by Tartaglia, R. et al , Taylor and Francis, 2005, pp393 - 395 Conference Paper, 2005

French, H. Dockrell, S. Cunningham, C. Roche, S. Cummins, V. and O'Dowd Crowley, P., The Back Care Book - A guide to keeping your back healthy, Developed by the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists for the Health Promotion Unit, 2005 Book, 2005

Dockrell, S. Fallon, E. Kelly, M. Masterson, B. and Shields, N. , An investigation of primary school teachers education on computer related ergonomics, Ergonomics in the digital age - the XVth triennial congress of the International Ergonomics Association , Seoul, Korea, 2003, pp36 - 36 Conference Paper, 2003

Dockrell, S. Fallon, E. Kelly, M. Masterson, B. and Shields, N., Ergonomics in schools - Are we meeting the needs of our schoolchildren, Physiotherapy Ireland, 24, (2), 2003, pp38 - 39 Conference Paper, 2003

Dockrell, S. Fallon, E. Kelly, M. Masterson, B. and Shields, N., Computers in primary schools in the Republic of Ireland - use and ergonomics, Irish Ergonomics Review, edited by Leonard O' Sullivan , 2003, pp31 - 36 Conference Paper, 2003

Dockrell, S. Breen, R. Pyper, S. and Rusk, Y., An investigation of childrens' posture during computer use at school, European congress on prevention of diseases through physiotherapy, Vienna, 2002, 2002 Conference Paper, 2002

Brady, A Dolan, L. Jarvis, K and Dockrell, S. , Prevalence of low back pain in nurses working in a teaching hospital in Ireland, All Ireland Journal of Nursing and Midwifery, 2, (2), 2002, p30 - 35 Journal Article, 2002

Connolly, A. Higgins, A. Dockrell, S. and Flynn, T. , A comparison of slides used in patient handling, British Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 8, (5), 2001, p166 - 173 Journal Article, 2001

Doyle, A. Dockrell, S. Lacroix, D. Normoyle, P. Geraghty, D. and Prendergast, P., Biomechanics of rising from a chair: an analysis of the effect of seat height, Annual Conference (Bioengineering section) of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, Dublin, edited by Lee, C. and O'Brien, F , 1999, pp24 - 24 Conference Paper, 1999

Duffy, A. Burke, C. and Dockrell, S. , The use of lifting and handling aids by hospital nurses, British Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 6, (1), 1999, p20 - 24 Journal Article, 1999

Kennedy, L. Lawlor, F. O'Connor, A. Dockrell, S. and Gormley, J. , An investigation of the effects of schoolbag carriage on trunk angle, Physiotherapy Ireland, 20, (1), 1999, p2 - 8 Journal Article, 1999

Prendeville, K and Dockrell, S, A pilot survey to investigate the incidence of low back pain in children, Physiotherapy Ireland, 19, (1), 1998, p3 - 7 Journal Article, 1998

Casey, G and Dockrell, S, A pilot study of the weight of schoolbags carried by 10-year old children, Physiotherapy Ireland, 17, (2), 1996, p17 - 21 Journal Article, 1996

Dockrell, S. and Wiseman, J., Current physiotherapy treatment of frozen shoulder, British Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 2, (4), 1995, p189 - 194 Journal Article, 1995

Hendriks, O. and Dockrell, S., Accuracy of ultrasound equipment in Dublin hospitals, Physiotherapy Ireland, 12, (1), 1991, p10 - 13 Journal Article, 1991

Dockrell, S. and Cooney, M., Injuries associated with marathon running, Physiotherapy Ireland, 11, (1), 1990, p11 - 13 Journal Article, 1990

Dockrell, S., An investigation of the use of verbal and non-verbal communication skills by final year physiotherapy students, Physiotherapy , 74, (2), 1988, p52 - 55 Journal Article, 1988

Dockrell, The relevance of a holistic approach to physiotherapy, Physiotherapy Ireland, 8, (1), 1987, p2 - 5 Journal Article, 1987

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Sara Dockrell, Jill Burns, John Gormley, A Report of Sedentary Behaviour in Schoolchildren: A Comparison between German and Irish Secondary Schools, Dublin, December, 2014, p1 - 48 Report, 2014

Dockrell, S. Johnson, M. Ganly, J., Analysis of the Causes and Costs of Manual Handling Incidents in the Health Care Sector , Report submitted to the Health and Safety Authority, July, 2007 Report, 2007 URL

Dockrell, S. , 'Weight of schoolbags and health implications' in Report of the Working Group on the Weight of Schoolbags, Dublin, Department of Education and Science, 1998 Report, 1998

Dockrell, S., Heavy Schoolbags - Concerns and Solutions, Paul Wagstaff Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Dublin, November 1998, 1998, Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Invited Talk, 1998

Research Expertise

Description

Children, health and disability; Investigation and application of ergonomics to promote the physical health and well-being of children and adolescents; Back Pain; Moving and Handling of Patients, with particular emphasis on overweight and bariatric patients.

Projects

  • Title
    • Task Furniture in Education
  • Summary
    • This interdisciplinary study aims to design and develop innovative school furniture for classroom tasks, accomodation the latest technology and responding to new teaching methods
  • Funding Agency
    • EU
  • Date From
    • December 2010
  • Date To
    • December 2014
  • Title
    • Investigation of physical and psychosocial factors of schoolbag carriage among Irish school children
  • Summary
    • The primary aim of this study is to determine the loads that are carried by Irish schoolchildren, and to establish any relationships between schoolbag weight, the child's body weight, other physical and psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Date From
    • September 2010
  • Date To
    • June 2015
  • Title
    • The effects of computer related ergonomic intervention on schoolchildren's posture and discomfort.
  • Summary
    • This project aims to investigate the effects of an ergonomic intervention programme on the computer-related musculoskeletal health of primary schoolchildren.The project is quasi- experimental in design, using pre-intervention and post-intervention measurements of posture, range of movement and musculoskeletal discomfort.
  • Date From
    • October 2005
  • Date To
    • June 2008
  • Title
    • Post primary teachers education in computer ergonomics
  • Summary
    • This project is a questionnaire survey of all post primary teachers in the Republic of Ireland. Information will be sought about the sources, nature and content of their training and education in computer related ergonomics.
  • Funding Agency
    • National Centre for Technology in Education
  • Date From
    • Feb 2006
  • Date To
    • Feb 2007
  • Title
    • Analysis of the causes and costs of manual handling incidents in the health care sector
  • Summary
    • This projects aims to examine the causes and costs of manual handling incidents in the health care sector by scrutinising a number of claims files.
  • Funding Agency
    • Health and Safety Authority
  • Date From
    • January 2007
  • Date To
    • July 2007
  • Title
    • An investigation into the energy cost of activities traditionally considered sedentary
  • Summary
    • The sedentary nature of office work has been highlighted as a health risk, and strategies to reduce sedentary behaviour at work have been developed. One such strategy is the use of sit-stand chairs. This study aims to examine the energy cost of undertaking common tasks while sitting and standing and to test the classification (sedentary or light-intensity physical activity) of the tasks under the two conditions. The energy expended will be measured using portable indirect calorimetry equipment (Cosmed K4 b2).
  • Funding Agency
    • N/A
  • Date From
    • September 2014
  • Date To
    • June 2016
  • Title
    • Parental awareness of schoolbag carriage: A comparative study of Irish and United States parents
  • Summary
    • Given the global nature of schoolbag carriage, there has been extensive research on schoolbag weight and use with resultant guidance on many aspects of carrying a schoolbag. However, there is limited evidence of knowledge translation or parents' awareness of schoolbag carriage. This study investigated parental awareness of factors related to schoolbag carriage. A cross-sectional survey using an anonymous 30-item questionnaire and purposive sampling was used. Questionnaires were distributed to parents of primary school children through the schools.
  • Date From
    • 2016
  • Date To
    • 2017

Keywords

Children, health and disability; Ergonomics in Schools; Low Back Pain; Moving and Handling of Patients; Physiotherapy

Recognition

Representations

Member of Dept. of Education and Science expert working group on Weight of Children's Schoolbags 1997-1998

Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapist Representative on the Health Promotion subgroup of the HSE Child Health Steering Group 2015-20116

Memberships

Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists (ISCP) 1978 – Present

Irish Ergonomics Society (IES) 1997 – Present