What is Ergonomics?


Ergonomics brings the concept of engineering, design, statistics, social and applied psychology, physiology and anatomy together in the aim of creating a safe and a comfortable work-space for the user to work in. This is a multi-disciplinary field that learns about human factors, abilities and limitations in order to enhance interaction between people, products and environment.

Although this branch of science is relatively new, it is one of the most progressing and attended field in the new generation. This is because it involves the contribution of other scientific disciplines and subsequently, builds the foundation upon those methodologies.

Design, Ergonomics and Safety

Whilst working in a work-space, it is necessary to incorporate a reasonable design in order to ensure ergonomics and safety. Ignorance usually comes with undesirable consequences that results in ergonomic related injuries. These include musculoskeletal disorders, repetitive strain injuries, repetitive motion injuries or cumulative trauma disorders.  To avoid, carrying out a risk assessment is desirable that:

  • Identify hazards and risk
  • Decide who can be harmed and how
  • Evaluate the associated risks
  • Register the findings
  • Implement ergonomic solutions
  • Review and update

Human Centered Design

Ignoring ergonomics could result in task failure or commercial failure. Therefore, the concept of human centered design is heavily based upon ergonomics that 'fits the task to the person'. This approach identifies user characteristics such as body shape, strength, mobility, psychology and emotions, experience, sensitivity, knowledge and training. Depending upon the circumstance, human centered design will involve in physical, psychological, organisational and environmental ergonomics.