Literally, the word ergonomics means the science or study of work, but its applications extend well beyond the workplace to also improve human performance and well-being at home and at play. Ergonomics removes barriers to quality, productivity, safety, comfort and human performance by fitting equipment, technology, tasks, and environments to the physical, mental and social abilities of people.
Human factors, or human factors engineering, is another way to describe ergonomics. The terminology is considered interchangeable by many professionals. Whatever you call it, at its core, it is a human-centered approach to the design of products, equipment, workplaces, methods, processes, systems, or virtually any human endeavor. Anything that involves people can be improved through ergonomics.
In general, ergonomics professionals (ergonomists) seek to optimize system and human performance by improving the fit between people, technology, tasks and operating environments.
Ergonomists use information about people (such as body dimensions, weight, strength, their ability to handle information and make decisions, their ability to see and hear and their ability to perform in different environments) to make human activities effective, sustainable, fulfilling, and safe. An ergonomist studies the way these things vary in a group of people. With this information, the ergonomist ensures that a product or service will perform as intended. This design must be for the whole range of people who use the product or service – including perhaps, children, the elderly and the disabled. An ergonomist can also assess existing products and services, identifying where they fail to ‘fit’ the user(s) — in every sense of the word — and recommending how that fit can be improved.
PHYSIO ERGO is a trusted Physiotherapy and Ergonomic Clinic, located at Sohna Road, Gurgaon. Our preventive treatment approach provides effective and rehabilitative Physiotherapy treatments that focus on reduction of pain and swelling, improvement in range of motion, healing of soft tissue structures, soft tissue relaxation, pre and post operative management, improvement in gross and fine motor skills, balance and co-ordination, strength and endurance as well sensory and cognitive integration.
The goals of a comprehensive workplace ergonomics strategy include:
An effective ergonomics process produces significant returns on investment across multiple business functions and metrics.
A general term for ergonomics in product and equipment design is usability. The more “usable” a product, the more “ergonomic” that product is. But it’s never that simple, and what may be ergonomic for one person, may not be for another. That’s why ergonomists apply a systematic, human-centered approach to design that considers at least three primary perspectives:
Ergonomists take a holistic design approach that balances product form and function to provide a fit that optimizes performance, under well understood usage scenarios, by a well understood population of target users. Products that undergo this human-centered, ergonomic design approach, are far more likely to acheive a positive user experience. Companies that deploy products that enhace user experience and performace are likely to meet with greater market success.
If you’ve read the above descriptions of ergonomics and its applications, you’ll recognize a pattern of benefits, all of which create improvements in individual and organizational performance, sustainability and well-being. This same human-centered, systematic approach can be applied to any design activity, including the design of any process.
Customer service processes are great examples. Ergonomics can be applied to improve the ability of staff to deliver exemplary service, and it can be applied to enhance the customer experience while receiving that service. Ultimately, better performing employees deliver better customer service, and better customer service equates to higher customer satisfaction, all of which leads to better company performance.
The BCPE, or Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics, is the premier certification organization for ergonomics professionals, particularly in the USA. Some businesses have also begun to offer and charge for certificates. However, buyer beware, as few if any of them are recognized as credible certifications in the marketplace.