Free Essay

Ergonomics in Modern Planning and Design

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By mal100
Words 1341
Pages 6
Ergonomics, human engineering or human factors engineering is the science of creating products or designing machines which maximize safety, comfort or efficiency of people who use them.

People who work with ergonomics apply general principles of industrial engineering, psychology, anthropometrics, which is the science of human measurement, and even biomechanics to adapt certain designs of products or workplaces to peoples constitution, strengths and limitations.

This science also takes into consideration peoples reactions and the amount of time they need to process a specific task or information received from their environment, as well as the capacity of dealing with certain psychological factors, mainly stress and isolation.

Once a study about a certain group of peoples reactions to their environment has been made, people who design with ergonomics attempt to develop the best possible design for a system or product.

Ergonomists view people and a the object or machine they will use as a sole unit, and the ergonomic approach to design blends the persons abilities with those of the machine.
When designing one must take into account the several limitations of both the mechanical and the human factor involved in a certain workspace. Human beings need to rest or experience less stress when realizing a certain task or they will spend their energies quickly and begin making mistakes when working, they are also subject to illness, accidents and the need of rest. The mechanical factor is also subjected to several limitations, for instance, they cannot repair themselves nor adapt to dynamic or unexpected situations as well as human.

An ergonomically designed system should therefore take advantage of the strengths of each of the components involved to provide optimal performance, an almost "symbiosis" between man and machine.

Ergonomists contribute to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities and limitations of people.

Ergonomics are commonly divided into three main domains:

• Physical ergonomics

• Cognitive ergonomics

• Organizational ergonomics

Physical ergonomics usually deals with the field of the human body's reaction to physical or physiological work. Relevant to this field of application is the materials a workers has to work with, the layout at his workstation, the physical demands of his job and different types of risks such as repletion, vibration, forces or awkward and static postures since all of these factors have been determined to cause musculoskeletal disorders known as repetitive strain injury's.

Repetitive strain injury, also called repetitive stress injury, is a group of conditions that comes from the overuse of computers, typewriters and other similar motions or tools. It is considered an overuse syndrome affecting muscles, tendons and nerves in the upper section of the human body.

Medical research points to the fact that these disorders occur when muscles in a certain area are kept tense for very long periods of time, mainly due to poor posture or repetitive motions. These conditions are very common among assembly line and computer workers. Better ergonomics, or limited exposure time to these stressful conditions help preventing these disorders.

Cognitive ergonomics or engineering psychology is and emerging branch of ergonomics that places special emphasis on the mental processes such as perception, attention, and workers cognitive abilities, as well as motor control and memory storage and retrieval, and how they affect a workers interactions among co-workers and the elements of the system.

Important to this specific field is the mental workload of the workers, their vigilance, their ability to make decisions, the human error, the workers performance and training and the human-computer interaction.

Cognitive ergonomics seek to enhance the performance of cognitive tasks by four different interventions:

• HCI, human computer interaction by designing human centered machines.

• The creation of cognitive artifacts.

• Training programs.

• Work redesign to manage cognitive workload and increase human reliability.

Ergonomic design in this field require a thorough understanding of the work environment and the limitations of human cognitive factors. Sometimes, the tools or artifacts necessary to realize a certain task carry their own limitations, for instance, navigating through a large amount of GUI (guided user interface) screens.

It is very important to analyze the tools the workers use since many times they co-determine the nature and ability of the user to realize a certain task, this is specially true in control panels, software or expert systems, as they are increasingly sophisticated.

Special emphasis is made on how to design the human – machine interfaces so that the cognitive performance of the user is sustained in the work environment, where stress or overload of work may cause unreliable information, conflicting goals and performance decrease.

This sort of knowledge is usually applied in workplaces where the situations is familiar but variable, even at an accelerated rate, such as chemical plants, air traffic control rooms, operating theaters and command and control centers.

Organizational ergonomics are mainly concerned with the optimization of socio-technical systems (STS), this is an approach to complex organizational work design that recognizes the interaction between people and technology at their workplaces, including their structure, policies and processes. This branch of ergonomics focuses on work shifts, schedules, the workers satisfaction, workers motivation, worker supervision, teamwork and work ethics.

Designing with people in mind sometimes requires advanced technology, such as computers and robots to simulate human reactions, and sometimes may be relatively simple. Researchers often use dummies or mannequins that represent a particular piece of the human body, then design with the average user in mind. To allow evaluation of their design they create replicas of workstations, scenarios or products and observe people operating equipment or using these products.

Ergonomic applied in the field of job design helps employers assess both the individual task necessary to perform a particular job and the skill needed to accomplish each task. By grouping tasks and skills jobs can be redesigned to maximize efficiency, because all tasks will be performed in the vicinity of a specific workstation to increase the workers productivity. Of course the worker has to be allowed to have adequate breaks and rest periods as well as clearly defined tasks. This is the case of a receptionist that will perform other tasks such as sorting mail and bookkeeping.

Ergonomics also allow an employer to analyze the best candidate for a particular job, by defining physical, mental and even social skills to perform a task, the basic set of qualifications necessary for selection are laid out.

The ergonomic design of products makes them safer, easier to use and more reliable, modern industry is constantly developing new products that will fit the bodies and meet the expectations of the users.

Cars are some of the products that have suffered the biggest changes since the introduction of ergonomic design. Larger contoured adjustable seats allow users of all sizes to fit the vehicle, padding has also made them more comfortable for users who have to drive for extensive amounts of time, headrests that fit different heights to avoid injury to users in an accident, the center mounted rear brake light which is now an enforced piece of equipment of all new cars is an ergonomic cognitive device.

One of the biggest improvements in product ergonomics have been computers. Computers changed from the complex tools to accessible aids with the creation of the GUI. GUI or graphical user interface uses pictorial representation to create a familiar environment for the user and take advantage of his cognitive skills. By pointing on objects inside the computer and clicking them a user can easily and quickly display lists of files and other options. This system has allowed computers to be accessible to almost every person.


Bridger, Robert S. (2003). Introduction to Ergonomics. 2nd edition. Taylor & Francis. England.

Rogmans, Wim & Rosenberg, Mark (2006). International Journal of injury control and safety promotion. Taylor & Francis. England.

Tom Stewart. (2006). Behavior & Information Technology. Taylor & Francis. England

S/D. (2006). Ergonomics in design. Human factor and ergonomics society. S/D.

S/D. (2006). "Ergonomics", Wikipedia.
Last update: 10/10/06.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay


...Ergonomics Nov 29, 2011 Abstract The purpose of this paper is to discuss ergonomics. How important proper ergonomics can be to both the employer and the employee. To talk about some of the education and training options available to companies for its employees. Some employer responsibilities and how OSHA enforces them. And finally, a look at a few organizations created to influence ergonomics. Introduction Ergonomics is basically the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive abilities. Throughout this paper I will go over the importance of proper ergonomics, along with a certain medical disorder that can result from ergonomic hazards. Then discuss different types of ergonomic education and training, as well as the delivery options available. Look at some basic employer responsibilities as well as OSHA Enforcement. And briefly go over two organizations that influence human factors and ergonomics around the world. Importance of Proper Ergonomics The science of fitting workplace conditions and demands of the job to the capabilities of the working population is Ergonomics. Ensuring effective and successful ergonomic practices will help generate higher productivity, greater avoidance of illness and injury, and even a possible increase in job satisfaction among the workforce. The avoidance of illness and injury is extremely important in today’s workplace as many companies are......

Words: 1570 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay


...Ergonomic promotes efficiency in production and physiological effort. Efficiency in physiological effort means undertaking the job with less physical effort. It can also contribute towards the comfort of the workers and can help to improve the health standards of the workers. The research conducted on workers of diverse background clearly revealed that the designs of the machines were one of the root causes of most of the health related absenteeism. This was leading to increased absenteeism and the effect on the efficiency of the industry. The problems are not limited to the workers not turning up for work rather the effects can be felt by workers both in short and the long run which means there could be permanent damage to the worker. The author clearly rejects the notion of eradicating the faults of machines after its ill effects are known rather he suggests an approach of “prevention is better than cure”. Wely suggests three steps to prevent the problems from occurring. First would be to initiate better design of the equipment with the aid of ergonomics which should include deep insight from industrial physicians, followed by training the workers for the use of the machines which will enable them to understand the health hazards if the correct method is not followed and lastly the industrial medical service should be equipped with state of the art technology so that medical examinations can be conducted to identity the health conditions of the workers so that corrective......

Words: 797 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...Ergonomics: Google defines Ergonomics as...the study of people's efficiency in their working environment but what are the parts that help build up Ergonomics and Ergonomists. What is Ergonomics? In the field of ergonomics it is the ergonomists job to try and make a job fit the employing instead of making the employee adjust to the job. This may be done in making a chair, but that chair may allow the employee to work an hour more than if they were in a different chair. An ergonomist may make a keyboard design that allows you to type more words for a longer amount of time without having to stop because your hands hurt or are tired. So you see it is pretty simple what they do. They try to make jobs more efficient so the employee is happier and able to work more while not hating what they do. How Does It Effect Individuals And How To Fix It? Ergonomic disorders can place many physical stresses on joints, muscles, bones, tendons and environmental effects on both hearing and vision.  Physical stressors can include repetitive motions such as those caused by typing or continual use of a manual screwdriver. Other physical stressors could be tasks involving vibration such as using a jackhammer, or tasks which involve using excessive force, such as lifting boxes of heavy books. Working in an awkward position, such as holding a telephone to your ear with your shoulder, can also cause problems. Repetitive motions, vibration, excessive force, and awkward positions are frequently......

Words: 668 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Design of Modern Hueristics

... Natural Computing Series Series Editors: G. Rozenberg Th. Bäck A.E. Eiben J.N. Kok H.P. Spaink Leiden Center for Natural Computing Advisory Board: S. Amari G. Brassard K.A. De Jong C.C.A.M. Gielen T. Head L. Kari L. Landweber T. Martinetz Z. Michalewicz M.C. Mozer E. Oja G. P˘ un J. Reif H. Rubin A. Salomaa M. Schoenauer H.-P. Schwefel C. Torras a D. Whitley E. Winfree J.M. Zurada For further volumes: Franz Rothlauf Design of Modern Heuristics Principles and Application Prof. Dr. Franz Rothlauf Chair of Information Systems and Business Administration Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz Gutenberg School of Management and Economics Jakob-Welder-Weg 9 55099 Mainz Germany Series Editors G. Rozenberg (Managing Editor) Th. Bäck, J.N. Kok, H.P. Spaink Leiden Center for Natural Computing Leiden University Niels Bohrweg 1 2333 CA Leiden, The Netherlands A.E. Eiben Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam The Netherlands ISSN 1619-7127 Natural Computing Series ISBN 978-3-540-72961-7 e-ISBN 978-3-540-72962-4 DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-72962-4 Springer Heidelberg Dordrecht London New York Library of Congress Control Number: 2011934137 ACM Computing Classification (1998): I.2.8, G.1.6, H.4.2 © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of......

Words: 114592 - Pages: 459

Premium Essay

Planning and Design Analysis

...Planning and Design Analysis Grid Your Learning Team has been assigned two articles to analyze for assignments in Weeks Three and Four. One article is a qualitative research study, and the other is a quantitative research study. Identify which article is which, and then complete the table where applicable. Write no more than three sentences in each cell of the table. Qualitative: Living with Incurable Cancer at the End of Life-Patients’ Perceptions of Quality of Life Quantitative: Dance and movement program improves quality-of-live measures in breast cancer survivors Qualitative Quantitative Research question What is the patients’ perception of quality of life in incurable cancer at the end of life? What effect does dance and movement have on breast cancer survivor’s quality of life? Problem Can illness affect a patient’s quality of life perceptions? Can dance and movement affect quality of life and shoulder function in breast cancer survivors that were treated in the last 5 years? Purpose To evaluate what an incurably ill person’s perspective of quality of life is. To analyze the effects of dance and movement on shoulder function and quality of life for cancer survivors who were treated within the past 5 years. Hypothesis To show that quality of life at the end of life has a positive meaning for patients with incurable cancer by using five themes of relevance relating to quality of life and to use individual patient strategies to relive pain via emotional...

Words: 1119 - Pages: 5

Free Essay


...Innovations: * Ergonomics for Interaction Designers ( Rob Tannen) * The convergence of digital user interfaces with physical products (e.g., touch screens, gestural interfaces) puts interaction designers in a position where knowledge of ergonomics is valuable, if not essential, for creating effective solutions. This lecture is an introduction to anthropometric design and research methods, including: explanations of fundamental ergonomic design principles and myths, case studies at the intersection of product and user interface design, and actionable takeaways to apply immediately. The content is geared specifically to interaction designers, relating understood digital design principles and terminology to parallels in physical design. What is Ergonomics? Ergonomics is defined as "The applied science of equipment design, as for the workplace, intended to maximize productivity by reducing operator fatigue and discomfort." So what does that mean to the average office worker? Basically, it means the use products and techniques to make our office environments more comfortable and protect us from repetitive movement injuries associated with modern desk work. Scientists called "Ergonomists" make it their life to develop comfortable, safe objects for us to use at work and at home. Ergonomics, as a formal discipline and recognized science is relatively new but its roots are deeply rooted in ancient times. The official fact about backaches "Backaches caused by rides on...

Words: 949 - Pages: 4

Free Essay


...Understanding ergonomics at work You may have heard of the term ‘ergonomics’. This is sometimes referred to as ‘human factors’. Not everyone really understands what ergonomics is, what it does, or how it affects people. This leaflet will help to answer these questions and to explain how understanding ergonomics can improve health and safety in your workplace. It is aimed at anyone who has a duty to maintain and improve health and safety and who wants to gain insight into ergonomics. It gives some examples of ergonomics problems and simple, effective advice on what can be done to solve them. What is ergonomics? Ergonomics is a science concerned with the ‘fit’ between people and their work. It puts people first, taking account of their capabilities and limitations. Ergonomics aims to make sure that tasks, equipment, information and the environment suit each worker. To assess the fit between a person and their work, ergonomists have to consider many aspects. These include: ■ the job being done and the demands on the worker; ■ the equipment used (its size, shape, and how appropriate it is for the task); ■ the information used (how it is presented, accessed, and changed); ■ the physical environment (temperature, humidity, lighting, noise, vibration); and ■ the social environment (such as teamwork and supportive management). Ergonomists consider all the physical aspects of a person, such as: ■ body size and shape; ■ fitness and strength; ■ posture; ■ the......

Words: 2857 - Pages: 12

Free Essay


...ERGONOMICS Ergonomics is the science of adapting the job and/or the equipment and the human to each other for optimal safety and productivity.Ergonomics refer to the application of scientific information and systems for human use, specifically when it comes to job design, work area efficiency and quality. It is very important because it relates to everything that involves people including work systems, sports, leisure, health, safety etc. It gives way to socio technical approach to job design that involves keeping the social needs of people in mind to design jobs and then using technology to fulfill it. Ergonomics deals with the interaction of technological and work situations with the human being. The basic human sciences involved are anatomy, physiology, and psychology. These sciences are applied by the ergonomist towards two objectives: the most productive use of human capabilities, and the maintenance of human health and well-being. In a phrase, ‘the job must fit the person’ in all respects, and the work situation should not compromise human capabilities and limitations. An ergonomically designed space will include an ergonomic assessment of the following: • The individual's posture, their routine tasks and what time is spend on particular activities, movements or repetitious actions • The job tools, which includes any devices required to perform your duties, like the mouse, the printer and the scanner The surroundings of your......

Words: 527 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...Ergonomics  The study of working conditions, especially the design of equipment and furniture in order to help people work more efficiently. TENOSYNOVITIS  The tendons in the wrist become sore and inflamed because of repetitive motion or awkward postures. TENDINITIS  An inflammation of the tendon. Tendinitis causes symptoms similar to those of tenosynovitis. THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME  A disorder of the shoulder that affects the nerves in the upper arm. GANGLION CYSTS  these cysts are associated with cumulative trauma or repetitive motion. CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME  this condition is caused by excessive flexing or twisting of the wrists, especially where forced is used. DEQUERVAIN’S DISEASE  this is an inflammation of the tendons to the thumb. TRIGGER FINGER SYNDROME  this is another form of tendinitis caused by repetitive flexing of the fingers against vibrating resistance. EPICONDYLITIS  also known as tennis elbow epicondylitis is the inflammation of tissues on the inner (thumb) side of the elbow. Understanding Ergonomics Anatomy  is the study of internal and external structure. Physiology  is the study of how living organisms perform the various functions of life Anthropometrics  study of different sizes or measurement of the body parts. Biomechanics  is the study of the way the work activities produces forces on muscles, nerves and bones. Industrial Design and Engineering  the design of......

Words: 359 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Ergonomic Features of Supermarket Cash Registers

...International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 34 (2004) 535–541 Short Communication Survey of ergonomic features of supermarket cash registers$ Aviva Shinnara,Ã, Joseph Indelicatoa, Michael Altimaria, Shlomo Shinnarb a Touro College School of Health Sciences, NewYork, NY, USA Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, NY, USA b Received 5 January 2004; received in revised form 25 May 2004; accepted 26 May 2004 Available online 11 August 2004 Abstract This research was conducted to examine the biomechanical features of currently used cash register designs in New York State. Comparisons and conclusions about the designs are based on the current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards regarding supermarket cash registers. A total of 15 supermarkets were included in the study representing a cross-section of neighborhoods. Stores were measured for heights of the various work surfaces and reach distances to the commonly used components. Results revealed that none of the stores utilized biomechanically correct designs. Disregard for certain biomechanical aspects of the register design, specifically surface heights and reach distance may contribute significantly to a high risk for injury present in the modern day job of cashiers. Relevance to industry This study highlights problems in the supermarket industry regarding compliance with ergonomic guidelines......

Words: 4264 - Pages: 18

Premium Essay

Modern System Analysis and Design

...Modern Systems Analysis and Design, 6e (Hoffer, et al.) Chapter 2 The Origins of Software 1) Hardware manufacturers are one source of software. Answer: TRUE Diff: 2 Page Ref: 33 2) The first administrative information system was General Electric's payroll system. Answer: TRUE Diff: 2 Page Ref: 30 3) Internal corporate information systems departments now spend a smaller portion of their time and effort on developing systems from scratch. Answer: TRUE Diff: 1 Page Ref: 30 4) Third-party sourcing is the practice of turning over responsibility of some to all of an organization's information systems applications and operations to an outside firm. Answer: FALSE Diff: 2 Page Ref: 30 5) Outsourcing is an alternative analysts need to be aware of. Answer: TRUE Diff: 1 Page Ref: 32 6) An organization may move to outsourcing for political reasons. Answer: TRUE Diff: 1 Page Ref: 31 7) Reducing time to market is one reason for outsourcing. Answer: TRUE Diff: 2 Page Ref: 31 8) Hiring a company to run your applications on your own computers is an example of outsourcing. Answer: TRUE Diff: 2 Page Ref: 31 9) A company may consider outsourcing if it feels that its core mission does not involve managing an information systems unit and that it might achieve more effective computing by turning over all of its operations to a more experienced, computer-oriented company. Answer: TRUE Diff: 2 Page Ref: 31 10) Based on 2007 total revenues, the...

Words: 5644 - Pages: 23

Free Essay


...ERGONOMICS Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive abilities. The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics as follows: Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance. Ergonomics is employed to fulfil 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. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. Ergonomics: the science of designing user interaction with equipment and workplaces to fit the user. Applications Physical ergonomics is important in the medical field, particularly to those diagnosed with physiological ailments or disorders such as arthritis (both chronic and temporary) or carpal tunnel syndrome. 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. Design of ergonomics experiments ...

Words: 954 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

The Importance of Planning and Design of a Research Project

...The Importance of Planning and Design of a Research Project A successful research project significantly enhances the justification and goals when defined as an exact statement. Once this is completed several steps are crucial for writing the research plan and executing the project successfully. A research plan generally consists of two areas: research logistics and research context and concepts. The achievement of the plan and integration of the steps can determine if the project will be successful or fail. Writing the research strategy should begin immediately when ideas are brought forth (Congdon & Dunham, 1999). The importance of a research project is not only noted by the data obtained but how the research balances out previous contributions and investigations to one’s understanding of a wide range of topics or to test a wide range of concepts, ecological theories or problems in management of biodiversity and conservation (Congdon & Dunham, 1999). Research plan and design are the foundational building blocks of a researcher’s proposed research. The plan should incorporate the focus of the research as well as why it is important and how the research will be conducted. A simple outline to follow would include the following questions for the researcher to base his/her plan upon: • What is the specific intent of the research? What are you trying to accomplish? • Why should this......

Words: 717 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Design Cost Planning and Control

...The School of the Built Environment SUBMISSION OF COURSEWORK COVER SHEET Session 2011/12 This sheet should be TYPEWRITTEN or completed in BLOCK CAPITALS and submitted with each course assignment. PLEASE TICK UG PGT Surname Lammy Forename Student ID Programme e.g. BSc Quantity Surveying Year of study Course code (available on timetable) e.g. D17AA Lecturer Prince Arthur H00112430 Construction Project Management 2011 to2012 D39CC Andrew Jackson Coursework title Design Cost Planning and Control Coursework hand-in deadline (date specified for hand- in) June 22 2012 All students are advised to keep a duplicate copy of all work submitted for reference. DECLARATION I certify that this assignment is my original work expressed in my own words. Any reference made to the work of other authors in any form (eg ideas, figures, text, tables) are acknowledged at their point of use. Signature/s of student ……………………………… Date of submission: ……………………… Below this line for office use only ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… School of the Built Environment Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh EH14 4AS Scotland UK Tel: 0131 449 5111 Fax: 0131 451 3161 Date Stamp Assignment: A high –level report, advising the client on the viability of the proposed project, a three storey Health Center, 4500 m2 Gross Floor Area (GFA). 1 Table of Contents Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………………………3 BCIS Analysis......

Words: 3580 - Pages: 15

Free Essay

Planning and Design Analysis

...Planning and Design Analysis of a Qualitative Research Study NUR/443 Evidence-Based Nursing Research and Practice Planning and Design Analysis of a Qualitative Research Introduction A qualitative research is a “systematic, subjective approach used to describe life experiences and give them meaning” (Burns & Grove, 2011). With this type of research, the data are collected through interviews, focus groups, observations, and review of documents. Thus, qualitative research uses words instead of numbers. This paper is going to analyze the planning and design of a qualitative research paper titled: Patient’s experience of pain and pain relief following hip replacement surgery, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing on October, 2010. Research questions Although the research question or questions are not clearly labeled in the study, the research questions were as follows: 1) How do patients describe their experience with pain after hip replacement surgery?, 2) How do patients describe their pain relief following hip replacement surgery?, 3) How does pain affect patients after hip replacement surgery? Problem A research problem is “an area of concern in which there is a gap in the knowledge base needed for nursing practice” (Burns & Grove, 2011). In this research, it was identified that many patients undergo hip replacement every year and previous research has focused largely on the long-term effects of pain for these patients but not so much on their......

Words: 1076 - Pages: 5