Faculty A-Z

Diana De Carvalho

Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology DC, MSc., PhD

Community Health and Humanities Epidemiology



Faculty of Medicine, M4M135

What brought me to MUN? What keeps me at MUN?

Receiving the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation Professorship in Biomechanics was the spark that brought me to MUN and NL. On arriving from Ontario, it was immediately clear that this place really does have a bit of magic. MUN has lived up to its solid reputation and I have been so impressed with the warm and collaborative nature of the staff, faculty and students. The fresh air, proximity to the ocean and the scenic hiking trails have only added to my experience.


Keen volunteers looking to gain experience in biomechanical lab techniques are always welcome. Please contact me to set up a meeting.

Research/Teaching Summary:

Societal awareness of the dangers of sedentary lifestyles is starting to grow. Thanks to the results of recent epidemiology studies, the media has been quick to highlight sitting as “ the new smoking” and the pastime that “ is killing you”. Slightly less sensational, yet equally important with respect to health and injury, is the relationship between sitting and low back pain (LBP). Directly related to decreased productivity, decreased quality of life and high health care costs, LBP might be the first of many negative health outcomes to be experienced by sedentary workers . Currently, there is still much to be learned about sitting induced back pain, especially in regards to pathways of pain and injury and in the context of older and clinical populations.

These questions have motivated my research program: focusing on the biomechanics of the human spine, especially in seated postures, in the context of:
· injury mechanisms (acute and repetitive tissue overload, strain of passive tissues by creep, and altered neuromuscular control)
· treatment options (spine manipulation, stretching, soft tissue therapy and exercise)
· prevention strategies (movement breaks, ergonomic aids, alternative work environments, early diagnostic indicators)

I value learning through experience. This lead me to complete a Certificate in University Teaching (University of Waterloo) and sparked an interest in the study of case-based learning and other experiential teaching methods. Whether in the classroom, laboratory or clinic I believe there is always an opportunity for both teachers and students to learn something new.


Newfoundland and Labrador Chiropractic Association Chiropractor of the Year (2017)
Association of Canadian Ergonomists Founders Award (2013)
CIHR Doctoral Research Award (2008-2011)
Canadian Chiropractic Association Young Investigator Award (2010)
Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research Fellowship Award (2008)


Zwambag D, De Carvalho D and Brown S. Decreasing the lumbar flexion moment induces earlier onset flexion relaxation. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 30:38-45.

De Carvalho D, Grondin D and Callaghan J. The impact of office chair features on lumbar lordosis,
intervertebral joint and sacral tilt angles: a radiographic assessment. Accepted, In Press. Ergonomics

Bonar J, Clutton Carr S, De Carvalho D, Wunder JS. Differentiating giant cell tumor of bone from
patellofemoral syndrome: a case study. JCCA 2016:60(1):57-65 .

Callaghan JP, De Carvalho DE, Gallagher KM, Karakolis T, Nelson-Wong E. Is standing the solution to sedentary office work? Ergonomics in Design. In Press 2015 (Invited Paper).

De Carvalho DE and Callaghan JP. Spine posture and discomfort during prolonged simulated driving with self-selected lumbar support prominence. Human Factors. May 7, 2015. ePub ahead of print. doi:10.1177/0018720815584866.

Holmes MWR, De Carvalho DE, Karakolis T and Callaghan JP. Evaluating abdominal and lower-back muscle activity while performing core exercises on a stability ball and a dynamic office chair. Human Factors. June 25, 2015. ePub ahead of print. doi:10.1177/0018720815593184.

Viggiani D, Noguchi M, Gruevski KM, De Carvalho DE and Callaghan JP. The effect of wallet thickness on spine posture, seat interface pressure, and perceived discomfort during sitting. IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors. 2014. 2(2): 83-93. DOI: 10.1080/21577323.2014.962712.

De Carvalho DE, Almenawer S, Lozej M, Noble H, Murty NK. Spontaneous Chronic Subdural Hematoma in a Twenty Two Year Old Healthy Female: A Case Report. World Neurosurgery. 2013. 80(5): 654.e9-654.e11.

De Carvalho D and Callaghan J. Influence of Automobile Seat Lumbar Support Prominence on Spine and Pelvic Postures: A Radiological Investigation. Applied Ergonomics. 2012. 43:876-882.

De Carvalho DE and Callaghan JP. Passive stiffness changes in the lumbar spine and effect of gender during prolonged simulated driving. The International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 2011. 41:617-624.

Diana De Carvalho, David Soave, Kim Ross, Jack Callaghan. Lumbar spine and pelvic posture between standing and sitting: a radiologic investigation including reliability and repeatability of the lumbar lordosis measure. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2010. 33(1):48-55.

Diana De Carvalho, Mark Citro, Anthony Tibbles. Rhabdomyolysis: a case study exploring the possible side effect of lipid lowering medication by a HIV positive patient taking a protease inhibitor. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2008. 52(4):243-247.