Ergonomics - Definition & Meaning

Published in Human Resources Terms by MBA Skool Team

What is Ergonomics?

Ergonomics can be understood as the science of creating or designing devices and equipments that are fit for the human body and enhances the activity performed. The term ergonomics came by the derivation of two Greek words ‘ergon’ which means work and ‘nomoi’ which means natural laws. Ergonomics also includes information on safety and health issues while working during the shifts and extended work days. It is the study of matching the product with its user and job with its worker.

Ergonomists and the practitioners of ergonomics focus and work to design and evaluate the products, environment, jobs and tasks to make them more useful and compatible for the needs, limitations and abilities of the people. Ergonomists should have a much broader understanding of the complete discipline and its scope. Ergonomists often prefer working in specific economic domains. The economic domains aren’t mutually exclusive and evolve constantly over the years, when the new ones are created then the old ones take some new perspective.

In the recent years, the practitioners of ergonomics have made attempts to discover postures which reduce the unnecessary static work and minimize the forces acting on the body. Following are the few ergonomic principles adhering to which we can reduce the risk of injury:-

1. All the workers should adopt various different but equally safe and healthy postures.

2. If the muscular force needs to exerted, it must be done by largest muscle groups available.

3. All the work activities must be performed by keeping joints at the mid-point of their movement range. This is applicable specifically to the head, upper limbs and trunks.

Following are the different types of Ergonomics:-

1. Physical Ergonomics- This type of ergonomics is concerned with the physiological, biomechanical, anthropometric and human anatomical characteristics as they are related to the physical activities. These include the workplace layout, safety and health, working postures, material handling and work related disorders.

2. Organizational Ergonomics- It is related to the optimization of the sociotechnical systems, including their processes, policies and organizational structures. These involve work timings, work design, crew resource management, new work paradigms, community ergonomics, etc.

3. Cognitive Ergonomics- This type of ergonomics is related to the mental processes like memory, motor response, perception, reasoning as these affect the interaction among the humans. These include decision-making, skilled performance, human reliability, mental workload, work training as these are related to the human-system design.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Ergonomics along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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