ERGONOMICS is the study of the interaction between human and products they use or the environment they are in. it is the science of fitting the job to the worker and vice-versa. it’s sometimes known as human factor engineering.
The word “Ergonomics” comes from two Greek words, “ergon” meaning Work, and “nomoi” meaning natural laws. It’s the science of refining the design of products to optimize them for human use.
WHY IS ERGONOMICS IMPORTANT?
Think about yourself watching TV and then think of your posture. How are you positioned? Are you comfortable? Will you be comfortable after you get up or will you be stiff?
Think about the angle of your computer monitor or the height of your desk. Think about whether your eyes are strained by the end of the day or if your wrists hurt form typing.
A sound understanding of ergonomics can prevent most work place injuries by adjusting tools to the user, putting an emphasis on proper posture to reduce the impact of repetitive movements.So we can say that “It is the science of designing machines and environment that are most suited to the efficiency, comfort, safety and peace of mind of those working with them”.
AIMS OF ERGONOMICS
Ergonomics aims to create safe, comfortable and productive workspace by bringing human abilities and limitations into the design of a workspace , including the individuals body size, strength, skill, speed, sensory abilities (vision, hearing) and even attitudes. or it’s aim to improve workspace and environment to minimize risk of injury or harm.
PRINCIPLES OF ERGONOMICS
- Work in neutral postures
- reduce excessive force
- keep everything in easy reach
- work at proper heights
- reduce excessive motions
- move,exercise and stretch
- maintain a comfortable environment
ARRANGEMENT OF WORK STATION
The use of computers and rapidly changing technology in the modern workplace has greatly increased the need for ergonomics. Desks, Chairs, Monitors, Keyboards and Lighting all need to be assessed when creating a workspace whether it is at the office or at home.
Proper ergonomics design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries and other musculoskeletal disorder, which can lead to long term disability.
TYPES OF ERGONOMICS
- Physical ergonomics- the science of designing user interaction with equipment and workplace to fit the user.
- Cognitive ergonomics- it is concerned with as perception, memory,reasoning and motor response, as they affect interactions among humans and other elements of system.
- Organizational ergonomics- it is concerned with the optimization of socio-technical system, including their organizational structures, policies and processes.
Today the word is used to describe the ‘science of designing the job to fit the worker,not forcing the worker to fit the job’.
Exercise is one of the key element in the successful outcome of an ergonomics program. it is recommended by OSHA (Occupational safety and health administration) that the computer user should move around about 5 minutes every hour during intensive computer use. he or she must stretch; use recommended stretching exercise called computer break exercise, shift positions frequently.
many companies provide facilities so that their employees participate in a regular fitness program away from work. there are ergonomists who visit work site, suggest change to the work station and training programs to the employees.
Computer break exercises are prescribed to prevent RSI (repetitive strain injury). these are simple stretches to the neck, like neck rotation, shoulder sway or shoulder shrug, and stretches to the elbow and hand that can be done even in the office in front of the computer.
ergonomics is not new. the first reference by the father of occupational health, bernardino Rammazzini, in his book DeMorbis Artificu, way back in 1700 AD, identified that occupational has a major impact on ones health. In his words “I assign certain violent and irregular motions and unnatural postures of the body, by reason of which the natural structure of the living machine is so impaired that serious disease gradually develop there from” he has clearly assigned the causes of many diseases to posture and movement.
ergonomics includes all the physical, social and psychological aspects of work and workplace design. correct ergonomics design helps to reduce discomfort at work, which increase job satisfaction, productivity and well being .