Staff profile

Andrew Baird

Senior Lecturer in Ergonomics and Psychology - Programme Lead MSc Behaviour Change

Andrew Baird standing by a window




College of Science and Engineering


School of Human Sciences, University of Derby Online Learning

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer within Psychology at the University of Derby. I work primarily in the fields of Behaviour Change and Ergonomics/Human Factors, lecturing at MSc level, but I also have some undergraduate commitments with optional third year psychology modules.

On the Behaviour Change programme I am Programme Lead and Pathway Lead for the Occupational Health & Safety pathway.  I teach on a number of modules including Theories & Models of Behaviour, Occupational Health & Safety and Behaviour Change and Systems Context.

On the Ergonomics & Human Factors programme I teach on a range of subjects, including Approaches in Ergonomics, Physical Characteristics & Ergonomics and Systems & Ergonomics.

My primary undergraduate work relates to the Psychology of Pain.

My first degree is in Ergonomics from Loughborough University. I graduated back in 1990 and upon graduation I worked in consultancy for a dozen years, initially for Loughborough University and subsequently for Human Applications, an ergonomics and risk management company based in Loughborough. I became Director of Ergonomics for Human Applications Ltd and undertook a wide range of projects but my main focus was the avoidance and management of musculoskeletal disorders. This included everything from initial design work through to specialist assessments and expert witness work. Alongside my consultancy work, I provided a range of training courses including Display Screen Equipment and Manual Handling risk assessment.

My interest in musculoskeletal disorders was so great however that I decided to move out of consultancy and I took a Masters in Occupational Health Psychology at Nottingham before undertaking some research into back pain back at Loughborough University. I then joined the University of Derby to develop the Ergonomics MSc programme. My primary research interest remains musculoskeletal disorders, but I also have a big interest in behaviour change and a developing interest in issues around safety climate.

Teaching responsibilities

Professional interests

As a Chartered Ergonomics & Human Factors professional with the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors, I have a broad interest in the application of ergonomics expertise, methods and approaches to the improvement of work systems. Much of my work has been focused at the 'health' end of ergonomics (musculoskeltal disorders and stress), but I have also undertaken a range of projects looking at optimising human performance and reducing errors. I am increasingly involved in activities related to Behaviour Change, with recent work focusing on driver behaviour. I am also involved with research relating to Safety Climate and Safety Culture.

Research interests

My primary research interests relate to the psychology of pain with a particular interest in how beliefs about pain impact upon painful experiences and how individuals cope and manage their pain. My research has been particularly focused on chronic pain and why some individuals fail to recover. The context for this has primarily been in relation to musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and upper limb pain, but I have a broad interest in pain including pain in sport.

Alongside my research into pain, I have a developing interest in all aspects of behaviour change and an interest in safety climate, with a PhD student looking at the impact of key individuals’ personal characteristics on safety climate and safety performance.

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate Qualifications

Postgraduate Qualifications 

Recent conferences

Ward, R & Baird, A 2019 Increasing the use of pre and post-work protective hand creams by metal workers: A behaviour change intervention within industry.  2019 CBC Conference - Behaviour Change for Health: Digital and Other Innovative Methods.

Williams, C, Baird, A, Denning, E, & Sheffield, D 2016, ‘Encouraging postural breaks – findings from the two year Move More study’. PREMUS 2016, Toronto, 20-23 June

Shirreff, S & Baird, A 2016 ‘Safety Climate – Revealing the ‘X Factor’’. In: Waterson, P, Sims, R and Hubbard EM (Eds) Contemporary Ergonomics & Human Factors 2016:

Baird, A & Williams, C 2013, ‘Musculoskeletal Disorders - Are we better off seeing them as pain conditions rather than injuries?’. Canadian Association of Ergonomists 44th Annual Conference Whistler, October 7-10

Recent publications

Thornton, C, Sheffield, D, & Baird, A 2019, Motor performance during experimental pain: The influence of exposure to contact sports. European Journal of Pain. 00: 1–11.

Chance-Larsen, F, Chance-Larsen, K, DIvanoglou, A & Baird, A 2018, ‘The use of an e-learning module on return to work advice for physiotherapists – A prospective cohort study’. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, DOI: 10.1080/09593985.2018.1485193

Thornton, C, Sheffield, D, & Baird, A 2017, ‘A longitudinal exploration of pain tolerance and participation in contact sports’. Scandinavian Journal of Pain, 16, 36-44

Baird, A, Williams, C, & Ferris, A 2017, ‘Becoming a Human Factors/Ergonomics Practitioner’ In: Shorrock, S, and Williams, C, (eds) Human Factors & Ergonomics in Practice. CRC Press, Boca Raton

Baird, A & Sheffield, D 2016, ‘The Relationship between Pain Beliefs and Physical and Mental Health Outcome Measures in Chronic Low Back Pain: Direct and Indirect Effects’. Healthcare, 4, 58

Baird, A & Haslam, R 2013, ‘Exploring differences in Pain Beliefs between a large non-clinical (workplace) population and a clinical (chronic low back pain) population using the Pain Beliefs Questionnaire’. Physical Therapy, 93, 12:1615-1624

De Bruyne, M, Van Renterghem, B, Baird, A, Palmans T, Daneels, L, & Dolphens, M 2016, ‘Influence of different stool types on muscle activity and lumbar posture among dentists during a simulated dental screening task’. Applied Ergonomics, 56, 220-226

Williams, C, Denning, E, Baird, A & Sheffield, D 2014, Investigating the impact of behaviour change techniques on break taking behaviour at work. Institution of Occupational Safety & Health

Baird, A. (2011) Co-morbid musculoskeletal complaints - how common are they and what impact do they have? In: Contemporary Ergonomics & Human Factors 2011, Ed: Anderson, M. Taylor & Francis. London

Shireff, S. & Baird, A. (2011) Managing risk in construction - getting the balance right. In: Contemporary Ergonomics & Human Factors 2011, Ed: Anderson, M. Taylor & Francis. London

Baird, A. (2011) Stress - Finding the Right Balance. Government Business

Baird, A. (2010) Ergonomics and Occupational 'stress' - where do we stand? In: Contemporary Ergonomics & Human Factors 2010, Ed: Anderson, M. Taylor & Francis. London

Baird, A. (2008) Teaching about Musculoskeletal Disorders - are we barking up the wrong tree? In: Contemporary Ergonomics 2008, Ed: Bust, P. Taylor & Francis, London

Baird, A. (2008) No pain, no gain. Safety & Health Practitioner. 6: 61-63

Baird, A., Worral, L., Haslam, C. and Haslam, R. (2008) Evaluation of a Multi-disciplinary Back Pain Rehabilitation Programme - Individual and Group Perspectives. Quality of Life Research, 17:357-366