Ergonomics is derived from the Greek language. Ergonomics (or Human Factors) can be defined in several different ways; however, Ergonomics’ Greek roots are defined as the science (or natural laws) of work. Ergonomists study human capabilities as they relate to work demands.
At present, Ergonomists have attempted to define Postures which minimize unnecessary static work and reduce the forces acting upon the body. Everyone can significantly reduce the risk of injury by adhering to the following Ergonomic Principles:
- Work activities should allow the worker to change into several different safe Postures.
- When exerting force, the worker should use the largest appropriate muscle groups.
- The worker should perform all work activities with the joints at about mid-point of their range of movement.
There are different areas of specialization in the field of Ergonomics Study. Consider the following areas of specialization within the field of Ergonomics:
- Physical Ergonomics is concerned with topics, such as Working Posture, Materials Handling, repetitive movements, work related Musculoskeletal Disorders, Workplace Layout, safety, and health.
- Cognitive Ergonomics is concerned with topics, such as Mental Workload, Decision-Making, skilled performance, Human-Computer Interaction, Human Reliability, Work Stress, and Work Training.