What Is Occupational Ergonomics?

Read this for more info about the importance of ergonomics. Efficient human factors and ergonomics are an application of various human physical and physiological principles to the design and engineering of mechanical, operational, and organizational systems. The scope of ergonomics has been greatly widened since the early 20th century. It was Thomas E.ASELL who popularized the concept of ergonomics in the late 19th century. In the same period, industrialists started using ergonomics in many different ways such as in the manufacture of clothing and gears; in the architectural field; in the production of mechanical devices; in the construction and engineering of ships; and in medicine. Today, ergonomics has greatly improved, especially in the productivity of employees in an office environment.


Basically, ergonomics applies the theories of biology and the physical sciences to the design and construction of a working environment. It is actually a scientific discipline concerned with the effective use of space and human factors such as position, posture, force, motion, and body awareness in working environments. This science basically deals with problems that occur when humans and their working environment came into contact. Such problems may include injuries, stress, poor health, repetitive strain injury, disability, and poor performance.

The study of ergonomics was born from the need for a systematic approach to human factors in the workplace. It was needed because the physical needs of humans vary from one individual to another. This was then expanded upon by the application of biological, structural, psychological, sociological, economic, and environmental concepts in order to answer questions concerning the effect of these different factors in the design and organization of work places. The field of ergonomics came into being when people began to realize the relationship between the design and operation of a working environment. This then became a subject of technological, economic, and political discussion for the next half a century.

In the light of these events, the basic principles of ergonomics were extended to include aspects of the physical, physiological, and psychological areas of the work environment. This brought about the field of occupational ergonomics, which is an extensive area of scientific discipline concerned with the study of the practical applications of ergonomics in the workplace. This scientific discipline in the workplace focuses on the improvement of the overall system performance of a human being. The scope of ergonomics includes the prevention of injuries and discomfort, as well as the improvement of overall system performance and efficiency through the use of ergonomically designed tools, equipment, and workstations.

These factors include the interrelationship of the human body with the various factors around it. First, ergonomics should be considered an educational science that studies how the human body is interrelated with technology. This field also takes into consideration factors such as the environment where technology is implemented, such as the type of equipment and other factors that can potentially harm the human body if improperly implemented. Second, ergonomics should be considered an environmental science that studies how technology and its application affect the natural environment. This may include the natural factors that human bodies usually thrive in, such as air, lighting, and space.

Lastly, ergonomics should be seen as a science that addresses both the individual and the workplace. The effectiveness of any type of ergonomic design is dependent on the level of ergonomic expertise of the person implementing it. For example, the effectiveness of a chair greatly depends on the amount of pain a person is willing to tolerate while sitting in it. Likewise, a chair that has a high level of comfortability is necessary in order for a person to be able to perform his or her work with the necessary level of efficiency. A person’s personality should also be considered when creating an ergonomic workstation. An ergonomically designed workstation that greatly improves a person’s level of comfortability and leisure will result in better work performance.