Ergonomics
Overview
 
Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive
Cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...

 abilities.

The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics as follows:
Ergonomics is employed to fulfill the two goals of health and productivity. It is relevant in the design of such things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines and equipment.
Encyclopedia
Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive
Cognitive science
Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary scientific study of mind and its processes. It examines what cognition is, what it does and how it works. It includes research on how information is processed , represented, and transformed in behaviour, nervous system or machine...

 abilities.

The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics as follows:
Ergonomics is employed to fulfill the two goals of health and productivity. It is relevant in the design of such things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines and equipment. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries
Repetitive strain injury
Repetitive strain injury is an injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by...

, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability.

Overview

Ergonomics is concerned with the ‘fit’ between computers and their technological robots and environments. It takes account of the user's capabilities and limitations in seeking to ensure that tasks, equipment, information and the environment suit each user.

To assess the fit between a person and the used technology, ergonomists consider the job (activity) being done and the demands on the user; the equipment used (its size, shape, and how appropriate it is for the task), and the information used (how it is presented, accessed, and changed). Ergonomics draws on many disciplines in its study of humans and their environments, including anthropometry
Anthropometry
Anthropometry refers to the measurement of the human individual...

, biomechanics
Biomechanics
Biomechanics is the application of mechanical principles to biological systems, such as humans, animals, plants, organs, and cells. Perhaps one of the best definitions was provided by Herbert Hatze in 1974: "Biomechanics is the study of the structure and function of biological systems by means of...

, mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

, industrial engineering
Industrial engineering
Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. It is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis...

, industrial design
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

, kinesiology
Kinesiology
Kinesiology, also known as human kinetics is the scientific study of human movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms. Applications of kinesiology to human health include: biomechanics and orthopedics, rehabilitation, such as physical and occupational...

, physiology
Physiology
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

 and psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

.

Typically, an ergonomist will have a BA or BS or BD in Psychology, Industrial/Mechanical Engineering or Industrial Design or Health Sciences, and usually an MA, MS or PhD in a related discipline. Many universities offer Master of Science degrees in Ergonomics, while some offer Master of Ergonomics or Master of Human Factors degrees. In the 2000s, occupational therapists have been moving into the field of ergonomics and the field has been heralded as one of the top ten emerging practice areas.

According to the International Ergonomics Association
International Ergonomics Association
The International Ergonomics Association or IEA is a federation of forty-two individual ergonomics organizations from around the world.The mission of the IEA is to elaborate and advance ergonomics science and practice, and to improve the quality of life by expanding its scope of application and...

 within the discipline of ergonomics there exist domains of specialization:
  • Physical ergonomics: is concerned with human anatomy, and some of the anthropometric, physiological and bio mechanical characteristics as they relate to physical activity.
  • Cognitive ergonomics
    Cognitive ergonomics
    According to the International Ergonomics Association, by definition, "Cognitive ergonomics is concerned with mental processes, such as perception, memory, reasoning, and motor response, as they affect interactions among humans and other elements of a system...

    : is concerned with mental processes, such as perception, memory, reasoning, and motor response, as they affect interactions among humans and other elements of a system. (Relevant topics include mental workload, decision-making, skilled performance, human-computer interaction, human reliability, work stress and training as these may relate to human-system and Human-Computer Interaction design.)
  • Organizational ergonomics: is concerned with the optimization of socio technical systems, including their organizational structures, policies, and processes.(Relevant topics include communication, crew resource management, work design, design of working times, teamwork, participatory design
    Participatory Ergonomics
    Industrial Ergonomics programs seek to identify and correct factors that negatively impact the physical health of their workers. Participatory ergonomics programs seek to maximize the involvement of the workers in this process based on the simple fact that a worker is an expert on his or her job...

    , community ergonomics, cooperative work, new work programs, virtual organizations, telework, and quality management.)

History and etymology

The foundations of the science of ergonomics appear to have been laid within the context of the culture of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

. A good deal of evidence indicates that Greek civilization in the 5th century BC used ergonomic principles in the design of their tools, jobs, and workplaces. One outstanding example of this can be found in the description Hippocrates gave of how a surgeon's workplace should be designed and how the tools he uses should be arranged (see Marmaras, Poulakakis and Papakostopoulos, 1999). It is also true that archaeological records of the early Egyptians Dynasties made tools, household equipment, among others that illustrated ergonomic principles. It is therefore questionable whether the claim by Marmaras, et al., regarding the origin of ergonomics, can be justified (I G Okorji, 2009).
The term ergonomics, , first entered the modern lexicon when Wojciech Jastrzębowski
Wojciech Jastrzebowski
Wojciech Jastrzębowski , was a Polish biologist, author of the term "Ergonomics".-Selected writings:* Rys ergonomji czyli nauki o pracy, opartej na prawdach poczerpniętych z Nauki Przyrody Wojciech Jastrzębowski (1799 Gierwaty - 1882 Warsaw), was a Polish biologist, author of the term...

 used the word in his 1857 article Rys ergonomji czyli nauki o pracy, opartej na prawdach poczerpniętych z Nauki Przyrody (The Outline of Ergonomics, i.e. Science of Work, Based on the Truths Taken from the Natural Science).

Later, in the 19th century, Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor
Frederick Winslow Taylor was an American mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is regarded as the father of scientific management and was one of the first management consultants...

 pioneered the "Scientific Management
Scientific management
Scientific management, also called Taylorism, was a theory of management that analyzed and synthesized workflows. Its main objective was improving economic efficiency, especially labor productivity. It was one of the earliest attempts to apply science to the engineering of processes and to management...

" method, which proposed a way to find the optimum method for carrying out a given task. Taylor found that he could, for example, triple the amount of coal that workers were shoveling by incrementally reducing the size and weight of coal shovels until the fastest shoveling rate was reached. Frank and Lillian Gilbreth
Lillian Moller Gilbreth
Lillian Moller Gilbreth was an American psychologist and industrial engineer. One of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D., she is arguably the first true industrial/organizational psychologist. She and her husband Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr...

 expanded Taylor's methods in the early 1900s to develop "Time and Motion Studies". They aimed to improve efficiency by eliminating unnecessary steps and actions. By applying this approach, the Gilbreths reduced the number of motions in bricklaying from 18 to 4.5, allowing bricklayers to increase their productivity from 120 to 350 bricks per hour.

World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 marked the development of new and complex machines and weaponry, and these made new demands on operators' cognition. The decision-making, attention, situational awareness and hand-eye coordination of the machine's operator became key in the success or failure of a task. It was observed that fully functional aircraft, flown by the best-trained pilots, still crashed. In 1943, Alphonse Chapanis
Alphonse Chapanis
Alphonse Chapanis was a pioneer in the field of industrial design, and is widely considered one of the fathers of ergonomics or human factors - the science of ensuring that design takes account of human characteristics...

, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, showed that this so-called "pilot error" could be greatly reduced when more logical and differentiable controls replaced confusing designs in airplane cockpits.

In the decades since the war, ergonomics has continued to flourish and diversify. The Space Age
Space Age
The Space Age is a time period encompassing the activities related to the Space Race, space exploration, space technology, and the cultural developments influenced by these events. The Space Age is generally considered to have begun with Sputnik...

 created new human factors issues such as weightlessness and extreme g-forces. How far could environments in space be tolerated, and what effects would they have on the mind and body? The dawn of the Information Age
Information Age
The Information Age, also commonly known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, is an idea that the current age will be characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously...

 has resulted in the new ergonomics field of human-computer interaction (HCI). Likewise, the growing demand for and competition among consumer goods and electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 has resulted in more companies including human factors in product design.

The coining of the term Ergonomics, however, is now widely attributed to British psychologist Hywel Murrell, at the 1949 meeting at the UK's Admiralty, which led to the foundation of The Ergonomics Society. He used it to encompass the studies in which he had been engaged during and after the II World War.

Applications

More than twenty technical subgroups within the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) indicate the range of applications for ergonomics. Human factors engineering
Human factors engineering
Human Factors Engineering is the discipline of applying what is known about human capabilities and limitations to the design of products, processes, systems, and work environments. It can be applied to the design of all systems having a human interface, including hardware and software...

 continues to be successfully applied in the fields of aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

, aging, health care, IT
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

, product design, transportation, training, nuclear and virtual environments, among others. Kim Vicente, a University of Toronto Professor of Ergonomics, argues that the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl
Chernobyl disaster
The Chernobyl disaster was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine , which was under the direct jurisdiction of the central authorities in Moscow...

 is attributable to plant designers not paying enough attention to human factors. "The operators were trained but the complexity of the reactor and the control panels nevertheless outstripped their ability to grasp what they were seeing [during the prelude to the disaster]."

Physical ergonomics is important in the medical field, particularly to those diagnosed with physiological ailments or disorders such as arthritis
Arthritis
Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints....

 (both chronic and temporary) or carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an entrapment idiopathic median neuropathy, causing paresthesia, pain, and other symptoms in the distribution of the median nerve due to its compression at the wrist in the carpal tunnel. The pathophysiology is not completely understood but can be considered compression...

. Pressure that is insignificant or imperceptible to those unaffected by these disorders may be very painful, or render a device unusable, for those who are. Many ergonomically designed products are also used or recommended to treat or prevent such disorders, and to treat pressure-related chronic pain
Chronic pain
Chronic pain has several different meanings in medicine. Traditionally, the distinction between acute and chronic pain has relied upon an arbitrary interval of time from onset; the two most commonly used markers being 3 months and 6 months since the initiation of pain, though some theorists and...

.

Human factors issues arise in simple systems and consumer products as well. Some examples include cellular telephones and other hand held devices that continue to shrink yet grow more complex (a phenomenon referred to as "creeping featurism"), millions of VCRs blinking "12:00" across the world because very few people can figure out how to program them, or alarm clocks that allow sleepy users to inadvertently turn off the alarm when they mean to hit 'snooze'. A user-centered design
User-centered design
In broad terms, user-centered design or pervasive usability is a design philosophy and a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process...

 (UCD), also known as a systems approach or the usability engineering
Usability engineering
Usability engineering is a field that is concerned generally with human-computer interaction and specifically with making human-computer interfaces that have high usability or user friendliness...

 life cycle aims to improve the user-system.

Design of ergonomics experiments

There is a specific series of steps that should be used in order to properly design an ergonomics experiment. First, one should select a problem that has practical impact. The problem should support or test a current theory. The user should select one or a few dependent variable(s) which usually measures safety, health, and/or physiological performance. Independent variable(s) should also be chosen at different levels. Normally, this involves paid participants, the existing environment, equipment, and/or software. When testing the users, one should give careful instructions describing the method or task and then get voluntary consent. The user should recognize all the possible combination's and interactions to notice the many differences that could occur. Multiple observations and trials should be conducted and compared to maximize the best results. Once completed, redesigning within and between subjects should be done to vary the data. It is often that permission is needed from the Institutional Review Board before an experiment can be done. A mathematical model should be used so that the data will be clear once the experiment is completed.

The experiment starts with a pilot test. Make sure in advance that the subjects understand the test, the equipment works, and that the test is able to be finished within the given time. When the experiment actually begins, the subjects should be paid for their work. All times and other measurements should be carefully measured and recorded. Once all the data is compiled, it should be analyzed, reduced, and formatted in the right way. A report explaining the experiment should be written. It should often display statistics including an ANOVA table, plots, and means of central tendency. A final paper should be written and edited ,after numerous drafts to ensure an adequate report is the final product.

Ergonomics in the workplace

Outside of the discipline itself, the term 'ergonomics' is generally used to refer to physical ergonomics as it relates to the workplace (as in for example ergonomic chairs and keyboards
Ergonomic keyboard
An ergonomic keyboard is a computer keyboard designed with ergonomic considerations to minimize muscle strain and a host of related problems. Typically such keyboards are constructed in a V shape, to allow right and left hands to type at a slight angle more natural to the human form.-Keyboard...

). Ergonomics in the workplace has to do largely with the safety of employees, both long and short-term. Ergonomics can help reduce costs by improving safety. This would decrease the money paid out in workers’ compensation. For example, over five million workers sustain overextension injuries per year. Through ergonomics, workplaces can be designed so that workers do not have to overextend themselves and the manufacturing industry could save billions in workers’ compensation.

Workplaces may either take the reactive or proactive approach when applying ergonomics practices. Reactive ergonomics is when something needs to be fixed, and corrective action is taken. Proactive ergonomics is the process of seeking areas that could be improved and fixing the issues before they become a large problem. Problems may be fixed through equipment design, task design, or environmental design. Equipment design changes the actual, physical devices used by people. Task design changes what people do with the equipment. Environmental design changes the environment in which people work, but not the physical equipment they use.

Engineering psychology

Engineering psychology
Engineering psychology
Engineering psychology is the science of human behaviour and capability, affecting the design and operation of systems and technology. The field developed during the 20th century as complex technologies such as aviation and radio became common....

 is an interdisciplinary part of ergonomics and studies the relationships of people to machines, with the intent of improving such relationships.

Macroergonomics

Macroergonomics is an approach to ergonomics that emphasizes a broad system view of design, examining organizational environments, culture, history, and work goals. It deals with the physical design of tools and the environment. It is the study of the society/technology interface and their consequences for relationships, processes, and institutions. It also deals with the optimization of the designs of organizational and work systems through the consideration of personnel, technological, and environmental variables and their interactions. The goal of macroergonomics is a completely efficient work system at both the macro- and micro-ergonomic level which results in improved productivity, and employee satisfaction, health, safety, and commitment. It analyzes the whole system, finds how each element should be placed in the system, and considers all aspects for a fully efficient system. A misplaced element in the system can lead to total failure.

History
Macroergonomics, also known as organizational design and management factors, deals with the overall design of work systems. This domain did not begin to receive recognition as a sub-discipline of ergonomics until the beginning of the 1980s. The idea and current perspective of the discipline was the work of the U.S. Human Factors Society Select Committee on the Future of Human Factors, 1980-2000. This committee was formed to analyze trends in all aspects of life and to look at how they would impact ergonomics over the following 20 years. The developments they found include:
  1. Breakthroughs in technology that would change the nature of work, such as the desktop computer,
  2. The need for organizations to adapt to the expectations and needs of this more mature workforce,
  3. Differences between the post-World War II generation and the older generation regarding their expectations the nature of the new workplace,
  4. The inability of solely microergonomics to achieve reductions in lost-time accidents and injuries and increases in productivity,
  5. Increasing workplace liability litigation based on safety design deficiencies.

These predictions have become and continue to become reality. The macroergonomic intervention in the workplace has been particularly effective in establishing a work culture that promotes and sustains performance and safety improvements.

Methods
  • Cognitive Walkthrough
    Cognitive walkthrough
    The cognitive walkthrough method is a usability inspection method used to identify usability issues in a piece of software or web site, focusing on how easy it is for new users to accomplish tasks with the system...

     Method: This method is a usability inspection
    Usability inspection
    Usability inspection is the name for a set of methods where an evaluator inspects a user interface. This is in contrast to usability testing where the usability of the interface is evaluated by testing it on real users. Usability inspections can generally be used early in the development process by...

     method in which the evaluators can apply user perspective to task scenarios to identify design problems. As applied to macroergonomics, evaluators are able to analyze the usability of work system designs to identify how well a work system is organized and how well the workflow is integrated.
  • Kansei Method
    Kansei Engineering
    Kansei Engineering is a method for translating feelings and impressions into product parameters, invented in the 1970s by Professor Mitsuo Nagamachi . Kansei Engineering can "measure" the feelings and shows the relationship to certain product properties...

    : This is a method that transforms consumer’s responses to new products into design specifications. As applied to macroergonomics, this method can translate employee’s responses to changes to a work system into design specifications.
  • High Integration of Technology, Organization, and People (HITOP): This is a manual procedure done step-by-step to apply technological change to the workplace. It allows managers to be more aware of the human and organizational aspects of their technology plans, allowing them to efficiently integrate technology in these contexts.
  • Top Modeler: This model helps manufacturing companies identify the organizational changes needed when new technologies are being considered for their process.
  • Computer-integrated Manufacturing, Organization, and People System Design (CIMOP): This model allows for evaluating computer-integrated manufacturing, organization, and people system design based on knowledge of the system.
  • Anthropotechnology: This method considers analysis and design modification of systems for the efficient transfer of technology from one culture to another.
  • Systems Analysis
    Systems analysis
    Systems analysis is the study of sets of interacting entities, including computer systems analysis. This field is closely related to requirements analysis or operations research...

     Tool (SAT): This is a method to conduct systematic trade-off evaluations of work-system intervention alternatives.
  • Macroergonomic Analysis of Structure (MAS): This method analyzes the structure of work systems according to their compatibility with unique sociotechnical aspects.
  • Macroergonomic Analysis and Design (MEAD): This method assesses work-system processes by using a ten-step process.
  • Virtual Manufacturing and Response Surface Methodology (VMRSM).: This method uses computerized tools and statistical analysis for workstation design.

Neonatal ergonomics

Neonatal ergonomics is the field that studies the newborn's development (premature, ill, low birth weight, or healthy newborn) in his or her environment, whether in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or at home, and in an incubator, bed or in Kangaroo Care. This field enhances the quality of life of the baby by using ergonomics principles and best practice by providing sound physical/musculoskeletal, physiological, neurological, and psychological/social/emotional development, and decreasing life threatening events that may be caused by poor habitat/environment, such as bradycardia/apnea of prematurity.

Seating ergonomics

The best way to reduce pressure in the back is to be in a standing position. However, there are times when you need to sit. When sitting, the main part of the body weight is transferred to the seat. Some weight is also transferred to the floor, back rest, and armrests. Where the weight is transferred is the key to a good seat design. When the proper areas are not supported, sitting in a seat all day can put unwanted pressure on the back causing pain.

The lumbar (bottom five vertebrate in the spine) needs to be supported to decrease disc pressure. Providing both a seat back that inclines backwards and has a lumbar support is critical to prevent excessive low back pressures. The combination which minimizes pressure on the lower back is having a backrest inclination of 120 degrees and a lumbar
Lumbar
In tetrapod anatomy, lumbar is an adjective that means of or pertaining to the abdominal segment of the torso, between the diaphragm and the sacrum ...

 support of 5 cm. The 120 degrees inclination means the angle between the seat and the backrest should be 120 degrees. The lumbar support of 5 cm means the chair backrest supports the lumbar by sticking out 5 cm in the lower back area. One drawback to creating an open body angle by moving the backrest backwards is that it takes ones body away from the tasking position, which typically involves leaning inward towards a desk or table. One solution to this problem can be found in the kneeling chair
Kneeling chair
A kneeling chair is a type of chair for sitting in a position with the thighs dropped to an angle of about 60 to 70 degrees from vertical , with some of the body's weight supported by the shins. The original kneeling chair was the Balans chair, which was developed in 1979 by Hans Christian...

. A proper kneeling chair creates the open body angle by lowering the angle of the lower body, keeping the spine in alignment and the sitter properly positioned to task. The benefit of this position is that if one leans inward, the body angle remains 90 degrees or wider. One mis-perception regarding kneeling chairs is that the body's weight bears on the knees, and thus users with poor knees cannot use the chair. This misperception has led to a generation of kneeling chairs that attempt to correct this by providing a horizontal seating surface with an ancillary knee pad. This design wholly defeats the purpose of the chair. The Variable balans is recognized as being the original modern kneeling chair, from which all subsequent designs have been derived. Created by Peter Opsvik
Peter Opsvik
Peter Opsvik is a Norwegian industrial designer best known for his innovative and ergonomic chairs. Opsvik’s furniture can be found under the brand names: Rybo , Håg , Varier , Stokke Naturellement , Cylindra and Moment .His book Rethinking Sittingcame out in 2009 giving...

, in the balans, some of the weight bears on the shins, not the knees, but the primary function of the shin rests (knee rests) are to keep one from falling forward out of the chair. Most of the weight remains on the buttocks. Another way to keep the body from falling forward is with a saddle seat. This type of seat is generally seen in some sit stand stools, which seek to emulate the riding or saddle position of a horseback rider, the first "job" involving extended periods of sitting.

Another key to reducing lumbar disc pressure is the use of armrests. They help by putting the force of your body not entirely on the seat and back rest, but putting some of this pressure on the armrests. Armrest needs to be adjustable in height to assure shoulders are not overstressed.

Organizations

The International Ergonomics Association
International Ergonomics Association
The International Ergonomics Association or IEA is a federation of forty-two individual ergonomics organizations from around the world.The mission of the IEA is to elaborate and advance ergonomics science and practice, and to improve the quality of life by expanding its scope of application and...

 (IEA) is a federation of ergonomics and human factors societies from around the world. The mission of the IEA is to elaborate and advance ergonomics science and practice, and to improve the quality of life by expanding its scope of application and contribution to society. As of September 2008, the International Ergonomics Association has 46 federated societies and 2 affiliated societies.

The International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is a professional organization for mobility engineering professionals in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicle industries. The Society is a standards development organization for the engineering of powered vehicles of all kinds, including cars, trucks, boats, aircraft, and others. The Society of Automotive Engineers has established a number of standards used in the automotive industry and elsewhere. It encourages the design of vehicles in accordance with established Human Factors principles. It is one the most influential organizations with respect to Ergonomics work in Automotive design
Automotive design
Automotive design is the profession involved in the development of the appearance, and to some extent the ergonomics, of motor vehicles or more specifically road vehicles. This most commonly refers to automobiles but also refers to motorcycles, trucks, buses, coaches, and vans...

. This society regularly holds conferences which address topics spanning all aspects of Human Factors/Ergonomics.

In the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 the professional body for ergonomists is The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors and in the USA it is the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is an interdisciplinary nonprofitprofessional organization covering the fields of human factors and ergonomics....

. In Europe professional certification is managed by the Centre for Registration of European Ergonomists (CREE). In the USA the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics performs this function. In Canada the professional body for ergonomists is the Association of Canadian Ergonomists.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is an interdisciplinary nonprofitprofessional organization covering the fields of human factors and ergonomics....

 (HFES) is the world's largest organization of professionals devoted to the science of human factors and ergonomics. The Society's mission is to promote the discovery and exchange of knowledge concerning the characteristics of human beings that are applicable to the design of systems and devices of all kinds.

In the UK, one organisation which has a long history of the practical application of ergonomics is the Institute of Occupational Medicine
Institute of Occupational Medicine
The Institute of Occupational Medicine was founded in 1969 by the National Coal Board as an independent charity. The IOM is a major independent centre of scientific excellence in the fields of occupational health and environmental health, occupational hygiene and occupational safety...

 (IOM). Founded by the coal industry in 1969, from the outset the IOM employed ergonomics staff to apply ergonomics principles to the design of mining machinery and environments. To this day, the IOM continues ergonomics activities, especially in the fields of musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders
Musculoskeletal disorders can affect the body's muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Most work-related MSDs develop over time and are caused either by the work itself or by the employees' working environment...

; heat stress and the ergonomics of personal protective equipment
Personal protective equipment
Personal protective equipment refers to protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garment or equipment designed to protect the wearer's body from injury by blunt impacts, electrical hazards, heat, chemicals, and infection, for job-related occupational safety and health purposes, and in...

 (PPE). Like many in occupational ergonomics, the demands and requirements of an ageing UK workforce are a growing concern and interest to IOM ergonomists.

See also

Related subjects
  • Back injury
    Back injury
    Back injuries result from damage, wear, or trauma to the bones, muscles, or other tissues of the back. Common back injuries include sprains and strains, herniated disks, and fractured vertebrae. The lumbar is often the site of back pain. The area is susceptible because of its flexibility and the...

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    Carpal tunnel syndrome
    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is an entrapment idiopathic median neuropathy, causing paresthesia, pain, and other symptoms in the distribution of the median nerve due to its compression at the wrist in the carpal tunnel. The pathophysiology is not completely understood but can be considered compression...

  • Cognitive ergonomics
    Cognitive ergonomics
    According to the International Ergonomics Association, by definition, "Cognitive ergonomics is concerned with mental processes, such as perception, memory, reasoning, and motor response, as they affect interactions among humans and other elements of a system...

  • Cognitive load
    Cognitive load
    The term cognitive load is used in cognitive psychology to illustrate the load related to the executive control of working memory . Theories contend that during complex learning activities the amount of information and interactions that must be processed simultaneously can either under-load, or...

  • Human-computer interaction
  • Industrial noise
    Industrial noise
    Industrial noise is usually considered mainly from the point of view of environmental health and safety, rather than nuisance, as sustained exposure can cause permanent hearing damage. Traditionally, occupational noise has been a hazard linked to heavy industries such as ship-building and...

  • Manual handling
    Manual handling
    Manual handling of loads , manual material handling or manutention involves the use of the human body to lift, lower, fill, empty, or carry loads. The load can be animate or inanimate . Most manufacturing or distribution systems require some manual handling tasks...

  • Repetitive strain injury
    Repetitive strain injury
    Repetitive strain injury is an injury of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by...

  • Rohmert's law
    Rohmert's law
    Widely used in the human factors and ergonomics field, Rohmert's law states that the maximum force one's muscles can exert decreases exponentially from the time one begins continuously exerting the said force...

  • Engineering psychology
    Engineering psychology
    Engineering psychology is the science of human behaviour and capability, affecting the design and operation of systems and technology. The field developed during the 20th century as complex technologies such as aviation and radio became common....



Related fields
  • Anthropometrics
  • Design for All
  • Environmental design
    Environmental design
    Environmental design is the process of addressing surrounding environmental parameters when devising plans, programs, policies, buildings, or products...

  • Industrial Design
    Industrial design
    Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

  • Industrial engineering
    Industrial engineering
    Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. It is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis...

  • Industrial hygiene
  • Activity-centered ergonomics
    Activity-centered ergonomics
    Following Maurice de Montmollin, the French distinguished generally two major trends in ergonomics:* Ergonomics focuses on the Activity, which emphasizes understanding the work situation as a whole, the demand analysis and framework intervention and the distinction between prescribed work and real...

  • Human factors
    Human factors
    Human factors science or human factors technologies is a multidisciplinary field incorporating contributions from psychology, engineering, industrial design, statistics, operations research and anthropometry...

  • Light ergonomics
    Light ergonomics
    Light ergonomics is the relationship between the light source and the individual. Poor light can be divided into the following:*Individual or socio-cultural expectations*Insufficient light*Poor distribution of light*Improper contrast*Glare*Flicker...

  • Occupational health psychology
    Occupational health psychology
    Occupational health psychology emerged out of two distinct applied disciplines within psychology, health psychology and industrial/organizational psychology, and occupational health. OHP is concerned with the psychosocial characteristics of workplaces that contribute to the development of...

  • Occupational therapy
    Occupational therapy
    Occupational therapy is a discipline that aims to promote health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful activities. Occupational therapists work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, and/or emotionally disabling condition by utilizing treatments...

  • Participatory Ergonomics
    Participatory Ergonomics
    Industrial Ergonomics programs seek to identify and correct factors that negatively impact the physical health of their workers. Participatory ergonomics programs seek to maximize the involvement of the workers in this process based on the simple fact that a worker is an expert on his or her job...

  • Safety engineering
    Safety engineering
    Safety engineering is an applied science strongly related to systems engineering / industrial engineering and the subset System Safety Engineering...

  • Systems engineering
    Systems engineering
    Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering that focuses on how complex engineering projects should be designed and managed over the life cycle of the project. Issues such as logistics, the coordination of different teams, and automatic control of machinery become more...

  • Systems psychology
    Systems psychology
    Systems psychology is a branch of applied psychology that studies human behaviour and experience in complex systems. It is inspired by systems theory and systems thinking, and based on the theoretical work of Roger Barker, Gregory Bateson, Humberto Maturana and others. It is an approach in...



Related scientists
  • Shihab S. Asfour
    Shihab S. Asfour
    Shihab S. Asfour Ph.D. is a Professor and Chairman of the Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. He teaches courses in Statistics, Manufacturing Engineering, Computer Programming, Motion and Time Study, and other subjects. His research interests...

  • M. M. Ayoub
    M. M. Ayoub
    Dr. M.M. Ayoub is an Egyptian retired P.W. Horn Professor of Industrial Engineering at Texas Tech University. He is a pioneer in the field of ergonomics, specifically relating to the application of mechanics to manual material handling....

  • Alphonse Chapanis
    Alphonse Chapanis
    Alphonse Chapanis was a pioneer in the field of industrial design, and is widely considered one of the fathers of ergonomics or human factors - the science of ensuring that design takes account of human characteristics...

  • Henry Dreyfuss
    Henry Dreyfuss
    Henry Dreyfuss was an American industrial designer.-Career:Dreyfuss was a native of Brooklyn, New York. As one of the celebrity industrial designers of the 1930s and 1940s, Dreyfuss dramatically improved the look, feel, and usability of dozens of consumer products...

  • W. E. Hick
    W. E. Hick
    William Edmund Hick was a British psychologist, who was a pioneer in the new sciences of experimental psychology and ergonomics in the mid-20th century....

  • John Chris Jones
    John Chris Jones
    John Christopher Jones is a Welsh designer. He was born in 1927, in Aberystwyth, Wales. He studied engineering at the University of Cambridge, and went on to work for AEI in Manchester, England...

  • Neville A. Stanton
    Neville A. Stanton
    Neville A. Stanton is a British Professor of Human Factors and Ergonomics at the University of Southampton. He has written and edited over a dozen books and ahundred peer-reviewed journal papers on applications of the subject...



Further reading

Books
  • Jan Dul and Bernard Weerdmeester, Ergonomics for Beginners - - A classic introduction on ergonomics - Original title: Vademecum Ergonomie (Dutch) -published and updated since 1960's
  • Stephen Pheasant, Bodyspace - - A classic exploration of ergonomics
  • Zamprotta, Luigi, La qualité comme philosophie de la production.Interaction avec l'ergonomie et perspectives futures, thèse de Maîtrise ès Sciences Appliquées - Informatique, Institut d'Etudes Supérieures L'Avenir, Bruxelles, année universitaire 1992-93, TIUhttp://www.tiuonline.com/ Press, Independence
    Independence
    Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

    , Missouri
    Missouri
    Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

     (USA), 1994, ISBN 0-89697-452-9
  • Kim Vicente, The Human Factor Full of examples and statistics illustrating the gap between existing technology and the human mind, with suggestions to narrow it
  • Donald Norman, The Design of Everyday Things
    The Design of Everyday Things
    The Design of Everyday Things is a best-selling book by cognitive scientist and usability engineer Donald Norman about the design of simple objects, and why some objects please their users while others frustrate them....

     - - An entertaining user-centered critique of nearly every gadget out there (at the time it was published)
  • Liu, Y (2007). IOE 333. Course pack. Industrial and Operations Engineering 333 (Introduction to Ergonomics), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Winter 2007
  • Wilson & Corlett, Evaluation of Human Work A practical ergonomics methodology. Warning: very technical and not a suitable 'intro' to ergonomics
  • Wickens and Hollands (2000). Engineering Psychology and Human Performance. Discusses memory, attention, decision making, stress and human error, among other topics
  • Alvin R. Tilley & Henry Dreyfuss Associates (1993, 2002), The Measure of Man & Woman: Human Factors in Design A human factors design manual.
  • Valerie J Gawron (2000), Human Performance Measures Handbook Lawrence Erlbaum Associates - A useful summary of human performance measures.
  • Peter Opsvik (2009), "Re-Thinking Sitting" Interesting insights on the history of the chair and how we sit from an ergonomic pioneer
  • Thomas J. Armstrong (2008), Chapter 10: Allowances, Localized Fatigue, Musculoskeletal Disorders, and Biomechanics (not yet published)
  • Computer Ergonomics & Work Related Upper Limb Disorder Prevention- Making The Business Case For Pro-active Ergonomics (Rooney et al, 2008)


Peer-reviewed Publications
(numbers between brackets are the ISI impact factor
Impact factor
The impact factor, often abbreviated IF, is a measure reflecting the average number of citations to articles published in science and social science journals. It is frequently used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal within its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed...

 2001-2003)
  • Behaviour & Information Technology (0.915 (2008))
  • Ergonomics (0.747)
  • Applied Ergonomics (0.738)
  • Human Factors (0.723)
  • International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics (0.395)
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing (0.311)
  • Travail Humain (0.260)
  • Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science (-)
  • International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics (-)
  • International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (-)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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