The term ergonomics is a derivation from two Greek words ergon which means to work and nomos which means laws. In essence, ergonomic means laws of work. These days, this term is known as the science of conceptualizing the job and work conditions in ways that are suitable to the worker. Forcing the worker to fit in an environment or to use certain furniture is now being frowned upon.
The chief concern of ergonomics is for the worker and his environment to fuse. It is advisable to have the work area designed with the inclusion of safety aspects in order to achieve a more productive ambience.
The International Ergonomics Association gives its own definition to ergonomics as the scientific discipline that pertains to the interaction of elements and humans; with the elements being data, system and profession, principles and methods that are meant to improve productivity, as well as well-being.
There are two fields of ergonomics such as engineering psychology and macro-ergonomics. There are also several principles incorporated in it such as cognitive ergonomics, organizational ergonomics, and physical ergonomics. The last principle is perfectly used in ergonomic furniture production as physical ergonomics is focused in the provision of correct equipment and tools for better human interaction with such. With this principle, it is believed that the right computer, chair or table can make a huge difference in the amount of work done each day.
Ergonomics in the Work Environment
So why is ergonomics now used in many offices? Back in the day, employees complained about backaches and headaches. It is because most of them suffered from muscle-skeletal injuries as they compromised their posture and health with their work. Just imagine workers of the past as they went through back-breaking hours in front of their desk as they received calls or typed something on their typewriters.
The physical and environmental factors involved in the way an employee sits, types, and moves about are all considered in ergonomics. His environment includes air quality, noise pollution and poor lighting. Ergonomics eliminates these factors which have been recorded to directly affect a worker’s efficiency. They are also known to cause different health complications which is why ergonomics is now widely embraced in many workplaces.
Working with ergonomics means a layout that is large enough to comfortably sit everyone. It must also be able to sustain a full range of motion without any chances of being cramped or elbowed by a co-worker. This means that when you are seated in an ergonomically sound workplace, that you will not contract your muscles just so you could fit in. Correct posture is an erect back, with the feet both flat on a footrest or the ground. The thighs must be horizontal and the hands and forearms always in a straight line.
The ergonomic desk must make sure that the worker will have no need to move his neck forward or backward just to check on the monitor. Along with an ergonomic desk is an ergonomic chair. There are now a lot of these chairs in the market, just find the color and style that best suits you.
Ergonomic office furniture must always have the right height, especially the chair. If both feet can be flat on the ground, then this means that your chair has an ideal height. You may adjust the height of the chair with the use of a seatpan.
Position the accessories ergonomically as well. Place the telephone on the left side of the desk so that your idle hand (this is if your right-handed) can also do something.
Ergonomic lighting means no extremes – not too bright and not too dim, either of these will cause eye strain and other potentially serious eye problems. Ergonomic design is all about stability and comfort – now go and apply what you have just learned.