Many people who land on this blog are looking for help for specific problems. They don’t quite know what ergonomics is or how it can help them. Many even ask what is ergonomics?
The very word ergonomics comes from two Greek words, “ergon” meaning work and “nomos” meaning laws. In our current world the word is used to describe the science of work and a person’s relationship to that work.
A Google definition of ergonomics is: the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment.
A technical definition from The International Ergonomics Association is this: ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.
A simpler definition is that ergonomics is the science of making things comfortable and efficient for work. Ergonomists study how work is done and come up with ways of how to work better. It is an inter-disciplinary science that explores human capabilities and limitations and then uses that knowledge and data to improve the design and function of things people use and the ways people work.
Ergonomics is often thought of in terms of products being ergonomic. In studying work, ergonomists come up with ways to make products more comfortable and efficient for workers. The data and methods developed in the ergonomics profession are widely used to improve products used in working: office equipment, office systems, technology and more. Ergonomics can also be applied to the design of services and processes in addition to products.
Where ergonomics benefits most people is the science of fitting jobs to the people who work in them. Adapting jobs and workplaces to fit the worker reduces stress and eliminates potential ergonomic disasters like carpel tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and tendonitis. Ergonomics is used to focus on the work environment and improve the design and function of products in the workplace to fit the employee’s physical requirements. This use of ergonomics to restructure the workplace helps prevent work injuries and keeps employees healthy.
Ergonomics is important for professionals but it’s something everyone should be aware of ergonomics while working. It is super important to listen to your body and the signals it gives you. If you are doing repetitive tasks and suffer from pain then you need to reevalute your working conditions. If you suffer pain in the wrists after typing all day you should examine your desk and keyboard to see if they are causing the problems. Research great ergonomic products and learn about the basics of ergonomics. Learn how to make adjustments to your own space, whether that is raising or lowering charis, adjusting computer monitors, or taking frequent breaks. Proper ergonomics in the workplace can save you from very painful and expensive injuries.