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Define Ergonomics

How does one define Ergonomics? What is ergonomics?

Let's explore some definitions of ergronomics.

Ergonomics Definition


Ergonomics is the study of people's efficiency in their working environment.

See other definitions of ergonomics by Occupation Safety and Health Admininstration, Berkeley Lab etc.

How else can one define ergonomics? It can also be said to be the science of designing the job, equipment, and workplace to fit the worker.

Human ergonomics is kind of like Ethnography applied to their work environment. In other works, it means it is the study of how humans interact with their work stations.

There different areas of ergonomics, such as physical, cognitive or organizational ergonomics. Ergonomics are applied differently for different work enviroments, such as ergonomics for industrial workplaces. The information found on this site is primarily for offices.

Why is ergonomics important?

You may ask, "Why is Ergonomics Important?" Afterall, some ergonomic computer furniture honestly looks gimmicky.

However, the study of ergonomics is heavily engineered for ergonomics health safety. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability.

With people living and working longer, we have to combat the foreseeable problems of an aging workforce. However, common injuries caused by poor ergonomic working conditions are not limited to the aging workforce. These injuries include, back pain, carpal tunnel, posture disorders, repetitive strain injury, tendinitis, eye strain, wrist pain etc.

Examples of ergonomics

  1. Choosing an ergonomic back chair that supports your back and fits your shape.

  2. Positioning your monitor in the center of you.

  3. The length of the monitor from you should be an arm's length to prevent eye strain and leaning forward.

  4. When you sit, your knees should not be higher than hip.



History of Ergonomics

The history of ergonomics can be traced back to Ancient Greece where they used ergonomic principles in the design of their tools, jobs and workplace.

The term ergonomics is derived from the Greek words, 'ergon' which means 'work' and 'nomos' which means 'natural laws'.

However the 'ergonomics' was first coined by Hywel Murrell, a pyschologist.


Ergonomics Research

These organizations are responsible for pioneering and advancing ergonomics research around the world.
  1. The International Ergonomics Assoication (IEA)

  2. The International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)

  3. The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors in UK

  4. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society



Ergonomics Articles

Reading ergonomic articles can be overwhelming. There are also several schools of thought which define ergonomics differently. If you do not know which ergonomics articles to begin reading, you can first analyze and fix where it hurts, or check out the quick tips.

See Ergonomic Tips For Industrial Workers (Lifting, Vibrations and Proper way to use Tools).

Just a note

Ergo is a casual and short form word for 'Ergonomics'.

Also, watch some Ergonomic videos to gain a better understanding.

References:

http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/pub811/hazards/ergonomics.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergonomics
http://office-ergo.com/power.htm


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