Ergonomics in Modern Planning and Design
Essay title: Ergonomics in Modern Planning and Design
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 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