The Science of Ergonomics

The Science of Ergonomics

Posted by Human Solution on Feb 13th 2011

A while back, our in-house CPE (and CEO), Jon Paulsen, helped me describe what training a certified professional ergonomist must undergo.

In keeping with that spirit, I thought I’d share a little bit about what ergonomics is, and the science behind it:

Ergonomics looks at the ways we interact with things such as furniture, tools, etc. and tries to improve the interaction. Practitioners look at the ways people perform their jobs, and try to make the work and the tools fit the needs of the individual, physically, mentally, etc.

To do so, there are three main classes of ergonomics. The first is physical ergonomics, which is what the products we sell deal with, in large part. This looks at the mechanical and physiological ways we deal with the physical objects in our work environment and tries to make these objects fit our needs. Our vertical mice are a great example of this type of thinking in that they are designed to cause less forearm pronation than normal mice. This reduces the stress of using this tool, particularly over time, and thus makes it easier, safer and more comfortable to do one’s job.

The second branch of ergonomics is psychological ergonomics. It deals with processes such as memory, cognition and motor response that affect how we interact with our physical environment. Finally, organizational ergonomics considers things such as processes, procedures and organizational structures and seeks to modify them to best suit the needs of the worker. These three disciplines work together to improve work.

Ergonomics is a rich, multi-disciplined field that uses science and engineering principles to better the ways in which we work. In the interest of worker safety, comfort and productivity, we hope to help you put these principles to work in your own business.

Interested in ergonomics?

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