Defining Ergonomics

study-300x214_mediumThe International Ergonomics Association (IEA) has the following definition

Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.-Unknown Author

This information will set a foundation for the scope and importance of ergonomics as it is applied to the office environment. Important ergonomic (safety) risks are explained and workstation users are reminded that they need to use their workstation properly.

What Does It Mean For You?

It means we need to look at the whole system (furniture, hardware, software, work environment, work schedule) to help fit the workstation environment to the needs of the office user.
There are internationally established standards for how a workstation should be designed to accommodate most users.
Making sure the workstation fits you well is an important start (environmental changes) but the next step is making sure you use it properly (behavioral changes)!